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9th-Inning Collapse Crushes Honkers at Home

ROCHESTER, MN — Riding high after a 1-2-3 eighth inning, Damon Rademacher (Gustavus Adolphus) pounded his fist in his mit, let out a roar and charged into the Rochester Honkers dugout.

In his first full inning of work for the Honkers, he faced the heart of the Waterloo Bucks’ (23-12) order and got them all to strikeout. It set up a home half of the inning where the Honkers could add to their 5-3 lead. Unfortunately for the Flock, their two baserunners in the ensuing frame couldn’t get brought across, so they would have to settle for the 5-3 score in the top of the ninth.

Rademacher returned to the hill, going for the save, but, after a leadoff walk issues to Nate Bandy, the momentum took a sharp turn in the visiting Bucks’ favor. Six of the next seven Buck batters would reach base: three by hit, three by walk and another by hit-by-a-pitch (HBP).

The frame accounted for four runs in that span — marking a 7-5 final score — and more late-game heroics by this first-place Bucks team gave the Honkers their third straight loss. The Flock now falls to 0-8 against the Bucks this season with four more to play in the series.

Amidst the unfortunate finish, there were significant positives on the offensive side for the Team in Teal. Taison Corio (Cal Poly) again showed why he is arguably the most dangerous hitter in the lineup, getting on base four times in five plate appearances. His most notable time on the basepaths was when he jogged around them in the sixth inning after blasting a solo shot to right field. He finished with a two-for-three night at the plate, with two runs scored, a run batted in, a walk and HBP.

Corio is now 16th in the Minnesota-Iowa pod in on base percentage (OBP) at .380. He’s also moved into the top 20 in on-base plus slugging (OPS), sitting at 19th with a .763 mark.

Honker fans were glad to see one of the new faces make a major impact tonight. In his second career game and first ever start, Nick Thimsen (Concordia, St. Paul) went one-for-two, but got on base four different ways: single, walk, HBP and reaching on an error. He’d score a run and even steal a base to finish his night off with nine bases collected.

Corio and Thimsen’s numbers boosted the team total of bases to 49. Two-thirds of the Honkers lineup got on base at least twice, putting together another laudable effort.

The homestand concludes tomorrow night with a 7:05 pm CST first pitch against the Bucks. Charles Harrison (UCLA) returns to the hill for his seventh start on the season. Get set for all things Honkers and Bucks with “Honkers Pregame Live!” which will start promptly at 7 pm. Tune in to the broadcast at www.Portal.StretchInternet.com/NWLHonkers for all of the action.

Make sure to connect with the Honkers on social media by liking them on Facebook and following them on twitter @RochHonkers and Instagram @HonkersBaseball. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #UnlockTheFlock!

By Simon Williams