(Rochester, Minn.) – Waterloo Bucks starting pitcher Blake Walden (Colorado Mesa) tossed a dominant four-hit, complete game shutout to lead the Bucks past the Rochester Honkers 11-0 on Friday at Mayo Field. Friday was the first time the Honkers offense was shutout this season as they fall to 14-18. The Bucks won just their second game on the road to improve to 9-22.
Honker’s starting pitcher Drew Slade (Ripon) was tagged with his fourth loss of the year after working 6 2/3 innings and surrendering six runs on 10 hits. Michael Brandt (Augustana) came in relief to finish off the seventh with a strikeout. Connor Barrett (Point Loma Nazarene) tossed 1 1/3 innings giving up four runs. Zach Sundine (Lamar CC) made his second appearance as a Honker and tossed 2/3 of an inning and gave up one run.
Rochester’s offense was held to just four hits in the series finale, Reed Hjelle (Minnesota Crookston) had the only extra-base hit as he doubled down the line in the seventh. Alex McGarry (Oregon State) ripped a line drive for a single in the ninth. Both Christian Robinson (Stanford) and Casey Dunlap (Point Loma Nazarene) were able to beat out infield singles.
Waterloo was able to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI ground out off the bat of Tate Samuelson (Cal Poly).
Kevin Welsh (Rutgers) extended the lead to 3-0 for Waterloo with a two-run home run over the left field wall. Dawnoven Smith (North Carolina A&T) launched a solo home run in the sixth to make it a 4-0 Bucks lead. Waterloo tacked on one more in the sixth as Myles Emmerson (Cal Poly) doubled to bring home a run.
Waterloo took a 6-0 lead in the seventh on a bases loaded walk from Smith.
The Bucks added five more runs in the ninth as Angelo Altavilla (Nebraska) came around to score on a wild pitch to give Waterloo a 7-0 lead. Patrick Ferguson (Kent State) singled to bring home the second run of the inning. Deion Thompson (Western Illinois) tacked on another run coming home on a wild pitch. Smith came around to score on the only Honker error of the game to push the lead to 10-0. Brendan Hueth (St. Joseph’s) drew a two out walk to bring home another run.
Coming into the game, Walden had never tossed more than five innings for Waterloo but the shutout gave him his third win of the year to improve his record to 3-1.
The Honkers will travel to La Crosse for a 3:05 p.m. showdown with the Loggers. Chad Tworek (Keiser) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Honkers, Tworek has posted a 3-1 record and a 2.32 ERA. Cam Baumann (Iowa) is the Logger’s scheduled starter, Baumann has a 3-1 record and a 2.25 ERA. The Honkers return to Mayo Field Sunday for a 1:05 p.m. rematch with La Crosse.
The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). 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.