(July 5)-Despite Kent’s 12 strikeouts, Honkers drop Saturday’s game against the Bucks, 2-1

Matt Kent throws eight strong innings but Honkers bats can’t get going against the Bucks’ Simpson

(Rochester, Minn.)– The Honkers could only grab a single run on Saturday night against the Bucks, dropping their third game of the second half, 2-1.

Matt Kent (Texas A&M) pitched well again for the Honkers, but received little help from Honkers bats Saturday night. Kent moved quickly through his eight innings pitched, allowing just five hits and walking none. Unfortunately, two of the Bucks’ hits were solo home runs by David Kerian (Illinois) to lead off the second inning and Mikal Hill (North Carolina at Charlotte) in the third. Hill’s home run was his second of the season and first since homering on opening night on May 27 at Mayo Field.

It took the hot-hitting Honkers some time to record their first hit against righty Landon Simpson (Arkansas) on Saturday. Simpson retired the first nine Honkers he faced until Connor Schaefbauer (Minnesota) led off the bottom of the fourth inning with an infield single to Bucks shortstop Hill. Alex Schultz (Nebraska Omaha) followed and doubled deep to right center field and Schaefbauer came around to score from first base. The Honkers could not score Schultz from second but still managed to cut the Bucks’ lead in half, trailing 2-1 heading to the fifth inning.

Kent continued to pitch well, retiring nine straight Bucks until a Pat MacKenzie (Central Michigan) bunt single in the sixth inning. Kent also struck out a season-high 12 batters in his eight innings of work – 12 strikeouts is the second most by a Honkers pitcher this season in a single game.

After the fourth inning, the closest the Honkers came to tying the ballgame was in the bottom of the eighth inning after Corey Hassel (Oklahoma State) doubled into the left center field gap with two outs. Simpson retired Schaefbauer after the double to end the brief rally and the Honkers still trailed 2-1 headed into the final frame. Outside of the fourth inning, the Honkers only had two baserunners in the game.

A scoreless ninth from reliever Carl Jameson (Missouri Baptist) kept the Honkers’ deficit at one run in the ninth. The Honkers would have to comeback against one of the league’s best closers, Adam Dian (Pittsburgh).

Dian struck out the side, though, and earned his league-leading 11th save of the season Saturday in the 2-1 win over the Honkers.

The win Saturday also earned the Bucks at least a share of the SCHEELS Highway 63 Cup as the teams only have two games left against each other this summer and the Bucks lead the season series, 4-2. Tomorrow, the Honkers stay home to host the St. Cloud Rox for a day game at Mayo Field. First pitch from Logan Spitzack (St. Cloud State) is set for 1:05 p.m. Ticket information is available at


The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information,