Honkers Place Fifth in the Grand Forks International Tournament, Win Two out of Five Games

The Honkers went into the Grand Forks tournament on a roll and they were able to come out tied for 5th in the tourney.

It started off with a loss to the conference Kirkland Merchants by a score of 7-4. The offense had 9 hits and saw a great performance from standout Chaz Lopez, who homered and saw six Honker starters record hits throughout the game. On the pitching side, Josh Snider struggled to get through five innings, as he have up 6 earned runs on 9 hits.

The next game was against the San Francisco Seals where the Honkers edged one out by a score of 4-3. The Honkers benefited from  a clutch three run double from Cameron Padron, who continues to clutch up in big spots. Jesse Bechtold and Josh Snider also were solid at the plate, as they both collected two hits apiece. On the pitching side of things, Sean Nussbaum tossed seven beautiful innings, as he only have up three hits and one earned run while striking out three seal batters. Austin Pascika then came in and closed it out for the Honkers, and gave the Honkers there first win of the tournament.

The next game for the Honkers was against Alaska Goldpanners, the team in which they had split the season series earlier on in the year. The Goldpanners were able edge one out against the Honkers, even though the Honkers actually outhit the Goldpanners. The Honkers put together twelve hits, and had many standout performances in a very good offensive showing. The Honkers got multi hit games from Chaz Lopez, Brock Bueno, and Jordan Padilla and six starters were able to collect hits in the game, and some more clutch hitting with two outs and running in scoring position proved to help the Honkers score runs throughout the game. On the defensive side of ball, one error proved to be costly for the Honkers, as starter Blaze Hastings gave up seven runs in three innings, but only four of them being earned because of the error. However, reliever Warren Utschinski was able to get through five innings of work and dominate, only giving up one run, however it wasn’t enough for the Honkers to come back

The next game for the Honkers saw the Honkers win a close one in fashion by a score of 3-2 against the Houston Westchase Express. The Honkers were able to outpitch the Express in a seven inning shortened game, as they were able to get there runs early on and pitch there way to a win. Tanner Braun was excellent again in the start, as he only gave up on run through 3.1 innings, and was relieved by Dominic Miller who pitched two scoreless innings and was rewarded with the win. Then closer Austin Pasicka was able to come in and shut the door on the Express, as he recorded the save. The Honkers got on the board in the first inning from a Cameron Padron single and a Peter Dudinakis sacrifice fly. The Honkers were able to push another run across in the sixth inning to secure there 3-1 win.

The Honkers lost there final game against the Reno Astros in a 9-8 offensive shootout. The game featured a combination of 19 hits, and once again the Honkers outhit there opponent in a loss. This was also a sloppy defensive game for both teams, as six combined errors were a tournament high. The Honkers truly spread the offense out, as SEVEN different players were able record RBI’s in the game. This was a season high for the Honkers and a compliment to how many great players the Honkers have, and that a new star can step up in every single game. Even Connor King, who didn’t collect a hit, was on base three time via walks, and was able to come around and score twice. Logan Coe, Kendall Yackley, and Brock Bueno were all able to collect multi hit games and were putting together nice at bats the entire game. On the pitching side of things, starter Nate Butcher was effective, but didn’t get much help from his defense in 5.1 innings pitched. He surrendered two runs and five hits while striking out three. Austin Pasicka wasn’t able to close it out for the Honkers, as the Astros were able to win it in the ninth.

All together it was a great experience for the Honkers and they always enjoy there trip to Grand Forks. It was a successful tournament for the Honkers and they look forward to playing again next year. Stay updated for the all tournament team to be released shortly.


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