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Published On: July 31st, 2014


Honkers can’t push enough runs across the plate; drop the day’s second game, 6-4

(Rochester, Minn.)– The Honkers and Bucks’ season series finale ended Wednesday evening at Mayo Field – the two teams’ second contest of the day. While the Honkers took the first game, Waterloo won the second, 6-4, and the teams split the day’s doubleheader. 

Honkers starter Will Bamesberger (Creighton) got into some trouble early against the Bucks. With runners on second and third with no outs, Kevin Kaczmarski (Evansville) chopped an infield single to the right side, scoring the first run of the game. The second Bucks run scored on a wild pitch delivered by Bamesberger, giving Waterloo a two-run lead before the Honkers’ first at-bat.

The Honkers countered the Bucks’ top half of the first with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Connor Schaefbauer (Minnesota) doubled into the left field corner. Reid Roper (Illinois) smacked a single in front of right fielder Will Sparks (Washington), who misplayed it, letting the ball roll to the fence, allowing Schaefbauer to score, cutting Waterloo’s lead in half, 2-1.

While the second and third innings were scoreless, the Bucks added to their lead in the fourth on a solo home run from Blake Berger (Florida Gulf Coast), his first of the season, with nobody out. After Pat MacKenzie (Central Michigan) walked, Will Sparks smacked a triple off of the left field fence, scoring MacKenzie with two outs. Rochester trailed by three runs, 4-1, into the bottom of the fourth.

But, again, when the Bucks scored, the Honkers answered. With runners on first and second base and two outs, Ryne Roper (Illinois) singled to left field, scoring Jordan Smith (Minnesota) and getting back Rochester within two runs of the tie, but still trailing Waterloo, 4-2.  

Bamesberger’s start was finished after four innings – he allowed four runs on five hits, three walks and six strikeouts. Brandon Nickolite (Mount Marty College) debuted for the Honkers in the fifth and relinquished a fifth run for the Bucks on a sacrifice fly from Berger, pushing Waterloo to a 5-2 lead.

Once more, the Honkers negated the Bucks’ productive half inning by scoring in the bottom of the inning. Corey Hassel (Oklahoma State) led off the fifth by hitting a towering solo home run to left center field – his team-leading seventh home run this season – pulling the Honkers into just a two-run deficit.

Waterloo extended their lead in the eighth, however, to 6-3 after Mikal Hill (North Carolina at Charlotte) homered, his third of the summer, off reliever Nick Highberger (Creighton) – all three have come against the Honkers at Mayo Field.  

Colin Wendiger (St. Thomas) relieved Bucks starter Nick Veale (Northern Iowa Area Community College) in the sixth and pitched the final four innings to earn his first save of the season. He gave up just two hits in relief and his lone run allowed came in the ninth inning when Corey Hassel homered for the second time in the game and his eighth this summer. Hassel’s heroics in the ninth stopped short of generating a late comeback for the Honkers and the Bucks beat Rochester, 6-4.

Tomorrow, the Honkers travel to Willmar to begin a two-game series with the Stingers on Thursday and Friday. They’ll return home on Saturday for two, seven-inning games with the Thunder Bay Border Cats beginning at 5:05 p.m. Ticket information can be found 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, visit