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Published On: February 5th, 2015

(Rochester, Minn.)— The Rochester Honkers Baseball Club announced today the signing of catcher Drake Zarate (Zah- RAH-tay) from the University of California- Riverside for the 2015 season.

The 5-foot-11, 185- pound junior assumed a starting role for the Highlanders in the 2014 season after having limited playing time his freshman season and having his sophomore season cut short due to an injury.  Zarate returned his junior season starting 38 of the 46 games played and earning career highs in hits (38), batting average (.277). slugging percentage (.336), and RBIs (19). His efforts included ten multi-hit and four multi-RBI games this season.

Zarate’s efforts were rewarded at the UC-Riverside Athletics Department Awards Ceremony when he won the SAAC Sports Moment of the Year Award by hitting a grand slam that drove in the game-winning RBI in the Highlanders 8-7 win at Cal State Fullerton on May 11, 2014.

Zarate graduated with honors from Norco High School in Calif. where he was a four-year letter winner and All-League in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Other honors include being named to the All-Area and Second Team All-State in 2011 and being named a Sports Net Scholar Athlete in 2010.

The Rochester Honkers 22nd season begins on May 26th when the Mankato MoonDogs bark into Mayo Field for a 7:05pm first pitch.  Season Tickets, Bonus Books, Suites and Patios are now available. Call the Rochester Honkers office at 507-289-1170 for more information.  The Honkers are also looking for host families for the 2015 season and ask all interested parties to call the business office for more information.


The are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.  For more information, visit