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Published On: June 2nd, 2019


ROCHESTER, MN. –  Rochester’s largest attendance of the season, 1,129 fans, caught a great game as the Honkers used a big sixth inning to came from behind to beat the Waterloo Bucks 8-5.

While the game turned out well, you wouldn’t have thought that based on way things started. The Bucks struck first as they got a two-run homer by Dylan Phillips in the second inning.

Aaron Simmons (UW-Stevens Point) made a great diving catch in right field in the third inning, but the sacrifice-fly by Jake Gitter increased the Bucks’ lead to 3-0.

The Honkers got a run on the board in the bottom on the fourth inning when a sacrifice-fly by Joey Daini (Sacramento City College) scored Simmons who had reached third base on a double by Evan Berkey (Cal State-Bakersfield).

Rochester’s starting pitcher David Lemasters (Lake Erie College) got into some trouble in the fifth inning after issuing walks to the first two batters he faced. He was then replaced by Evan Layne ( also Lake Erie College) who walked his first batter to load bases. Like Lemasters, Layne continued to have trouble finding the strike zone as he walked two more Waterloo batters to give the Bucks a 5-1 lead.

Fortunately, the Honkers’ batters had their pitchers’ backs in the sixth inning. The offensive surge began when Simmons hit a monster solo home run that hit the Riverwalk Apartment building beyond the right field fence. After that, Rochester used small-ball to keep the momentum going. An error by Waterloo shortstop Sam Olson kept the inning alive and loaded the bases. The Honkers took full advantage as Tristan Peterson (New Mexico State) hit a two-run single to make it a 5-4 game. After a Ryan Wrobleski (Dallas Baptist) single, Trace Peterson (Lake Erie College) put Rochester ahead 6-5 with a two-run ground-rule double.

Only leading by one, the game still hung in the balance. That was until Rochester added two insurance runs in the eighth inning. The first one came on a RBI single by Simmons, then following a wild pitch, Berkey hit another RBI single to increase the Honkers’ lead to 8-5.

Keon Taylor (Georgetown College) came in to pitch the eighth and ninth inning and all he seemed to do was record strikeouts. He retired five of seven batters he faced, including all three in the ninth, via strikeout. The victory improves Rochester’s record to 4-2.

Player of the game honors went to Simmons who was 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Layne was the winning pitcher and Taylor earned the save.

After playing five of the first six games at home, the Honkers will head out on a five-game road trip with their first four games in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. They will return home on Saturday, June 8, to face St. Cloud at 6:05 p.m.

Season tickets and new all-you-can-eat ticket packages are available for purchase right now at or by calling the Honkers front office at 507-289-1170.

The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 26th 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, over 200 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 (MIA).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit 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.