Zach Zubia wins the Home Run Derby and the South Division wins the All-Star Game
(Wausau, Wis.) – Two Rochester Honkers, Zach Zubia (Texas) and Jordan Hart (Minnesota State-Mankato) represented the North Division at the Northwoods League All-Star Game festivities Tuesday night at Athletic Park. Zubia won the Home Run Derby and played in the All-Star Game. Hart also participated in the Home Run Derby.
Zubia, who leads the league with 16 home runs, was named the Individual Champion of the derby after hitting five home runs. Hart, who has hit six home runs this season, hit a few pitches to the warning track at Athletic Park, but did not hit a home run in the event. The North Division won the team competition 13-11.
Zubia was the first batter to hit in the home run derby, giving the North Division an early lead that they would not give up. The redshirt freshman hit three home runs in a row in the competition. Christian Jones (Campbell) of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters and Nolan Bumstead (Cal State Northridge) of the Willmar Stingers were the next closest with three home runs each.
Later in the evening, Zubia played the entire All-Star Game as the designated hitter for the North Division. He finished 0-for-2 at the plate, but walked twice. The South Division won the All-Star Game by a score of 6-2, holding the North Division scoreless in the final six innings on only three hits.
Trailing the South 0-1, Ethan Valdez (Nicholls State) of the Mankato MoonDogs tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the second inning with a ground-rule double, scoring Jay Schuyler (San Diego) of the Waterloo Bucks. The North took the lead in the third inning on a wild pitch.
Derek Bangert (Bradley) of the Kenosha Kingfish led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run for the South, tying the game at 2-2.
Zubia was close to earning his first hit in the top of the sixth inning. He hit a line drive up the middle, but the ball was caught by pitcher Logan Wiley (Missouri State) of the Kingfish. Zubia also walked in the eighth inning with a runner on third, but was stranded on base after a fly out ended the inning.
The South Division put up four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and pitched a clean ninth inning to secure the win.
The Honkers have a day off again tomorrow, July 19, but return home on Thursday, July 20, against the Bismarck Larks. It will be Rally Time at the ballpark. Rally Entertainment, a nationally-known mascot show will be performing at Mayo Field, presented by McNeilus Steel and ABC 6 News. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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, 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.