(Rochester, Minn.) –Despite Matt Hardy’s (UC Riverside) two home run night, the Rochester Honkers fell to the Waterloo Bucks 8-4 Saturday at Riverfront Stadium. The win improves the Bucks record to 10-26 in the second half and 20-51 overall. The Honkers lost their third straight to fall to 16-19 and 33-38.
The Bucks gained an early lead with a two-run third. Trey Leonard (Louisville) doubled to right field to drive in a run and give Waterloo a 1-0 lead. Angelo Altavilla (Nebraska) singled to right to bring home the second run of the inning for the Bucks.
The Honkers were able to cut Waterloo’s lead in the fourth as Hardy crushed his first solo home run of the game to make the score 2-1.
The Honkers rallied for three runs in the sixth. Hardy tied the game up at two with his second home run of the contest. Austin Schell (Golden West) doubled to right field to drive in the go-ahead run for Rochester. Michael Michalak (Illinois) came in to score on a wild pitch to give the Honkers a 4-2 lead.
Waterloo came back to take the lead in the eighth. Altavilla brought home two runs with a single up the middle to tie the game at four. Myles Emmerson (Cal Poly) brought in two runs of his own with a double to left field to give the Bucks a 6-4 lead. Carmen Sclafani (Rutgers) brought in another two runs with a single down the left field line to give Waterloo an 8-4 advantage.
Along with two home runs, Hardy paced the Honkers offense collecting four hits and falling just a triple short of the cycle. Additionally, Michalak picked up three hits for the Honkers. It was the Rochester native’s fifth three-hit game of the summer.
Honkers starting pitcher Matteo Bocchi (Texas) tossed a gem despite receiving a no decision. The Italy native worked six innings surrendering two runs on five hits. Just one of the runs was earned. Erik Edminster (Loras) came in relief to pitch one inning and gave up four runs on four hits. Jack Nelson (St. Mary’s) was tagged with his first loss of the season after working one inning and give up two runs on five hits.
Bucks relief pitcher Danny Kapala (Minnesota) picked up the win out of the bullpen. Kapala pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three.
The Honkers play their final game of the season Sunday against the Bucks at Riverfront Stadium. Robert Reaser (Lewis and Clark) is scheduled to start for Waterloo, the junior has compiled a 5.44 ERA and a 2-1 record. The Honkers probable pitcher is to be announced. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.
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, 200 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.