Honker Players Impress at Major League Dreams Showcase
(Madison, Wis.) – Four Rochester Honkers participated in the Major League Dreams Showcase on Tuesday at Warner Park. Zach Zubia (Texas), Kenyon Yovan (Oregon), David Noworyta (Hawaii), and Ryan Thompson (Illinois) showed off the skills at the plate and on the mound, leading the home team to a 5-5 tie after 10 and a half innings in game one of the showcase.
The new Northwoods League single-season home run record holder, Zubia, impressed at the showcase in the way he knows best. Zubia hit a two-run home run to left field on the first pitch he saw from Thunder Bay pitcher Jake Mielock (Colorado Mesa), giving the home team a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Zubia went 1-for-5 in the game, but displayed speed on the base paths by advancing to first base after a dropped third strike in the fifth inning.
Yovan pitched the top of the third inning for the home team. After a leadoff double, Yovan struck out Cameron Eden (California) and forced a groundout for the second out of the inning. Isaac Collins (Creighton) gave the visiting team a 4-3 lead with a two-run home run to the left-corner, but Yovan responded by striking out Jean-Francois Garon (Bradley) for the final out.
Noworyta entered the game at catcher in the sixth inning and caught five innings. At the plate, Noworyta went 0-for-2 with a groundout. Noworyta caught for his Honker teammate Thompson in the top of the eighth inning. Thompson allowed a single with one out, but answered by getting a fly out and pop out to end his inning of work.
The away team tied the score at 5-5 in the top of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings. Noworyta was sent out to pitch in the top of the eleventh inning. Despite not being selected to the showcase as a pitcher, Noworyta threw a scoreless inning, including a strikeout. The game was called before the bottom of the inning began in order to start game two of the showcase.
The next home game for the Honkers will be a doubleheader against the Thunder Bay Border Cats on Wednesday, August 9. It will be Team Trading Card Set Night, presented by Pepsi and 106.9 KROC. The first 1,000 fans at the game will receive a free set of Honkers team trading cards. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. First pitch of game one starts at 6:05 p.m. Game two will begin 30 minutes after the completion of game one. Both matchups will be seven-inning games. Chia-Ching Ho (National Taiwan Sports University) is scheduled to pitch game one for the Honkers. Ho is 2-2 this season with a 4.39 ERA in 41 innings. Mason Swegarden (Mayville State) is scheduled to pitch for the Border Cats. Swegarden is 1-0 this season with a 2.25 ERA in four innings.
The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 180 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.rochesterhonkers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Honkers as your favorite team.