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Published On: April 8th, 2021

ROCHESTER, MINN. — The Rochester Honkers, five-time champions of the Northwoods League, are excited to introduce two new right-handers to bolster the pitching staff for the 2021 campaign. Lipscomb University pitchers Patrick Williams and Matthew Maldonado are set to come north from Nashville this summer to fly with the Honkers.

Williams, a 6-foot-7 freshman, is in his first full season as a Bison. The long, lanky righty has appeared seven times in 2021, starting in his most recent outing against in-state competition Belmont. In 11 innings pitched, Williams has averaged nearly a strikeout per inning with 10 and has allowed just four extra-base hits. Through the near-halfway point of Lipscomb’s season, opponents are hitting a mere .231 off of the Cleveland, Tenn. native. Williams also posted solid work in 2020, appearing in five games and carrying a 4.05 ERA over 13.1 innings. Originally penciled in to play for the Thunder Bay Border Cats this season, Williams was the Honkers’ first-round pick in the league-wide dispersal draft after the Border Cats announced the suspension of their season due to restrictions on the Canadian border.

“We were fortunate enough to get Patrick in the Thunder Bay player draft and going into the draft, he was our target,” Honkers field manager Paul Weidner said. “We were thrilled that he was available for us to pick him when it was our turn. He will fit in well filling up the strike zone alongside his other teammates from Lipscomb.”

Maldonado, a redshirt sophomore, is no stranger to new places in his baseball career. A native of Seguin, Texas, Maldonado traveled nearly one thousand miles to Lipscomb and will make another near-800 mile trek to the Med City this summer. The righty has appeared in eight games for the Bisons in 2021, working 13.1 innings over that span. Maldonado, too, has averaged nearly one strikeout per inning pitched with 13 total, and has surrendered just three extra-base knocks this year against 66 batters faced. Maldonado redshirted in 2020, but appeared in four games (two starts) as a Lipscomb freshman in the 2019 campaign. In that span, he worked 8.2 innings and punched out six batters, allowing only two walks along the way. Listed as a utility man on Lipscomb’s roster, Maldonado shined with the bat in high school, pacing the Navarro Panthers in home runs his senior season.

“Matthew has a very lively arm with velocity that plays and mixes well with a good curveball,” Weidner said. “We hope to have him in some big spots for us this summer.”

The Rochester Honkers enter their 28th season of play on May 31st on the road against the Eau Claire Express at 7:05 PM. Connect with the team on social media by liking them on Facebook at Rochester Honkers Baseball Club and following them on Twitter (@RochHonkers) and Instagram (@HonkersBaseball). Join the conversation by using the hashtag #UnlockTheFlock, and follow along with all Honkers roster reveals with the hashtag #ReleaseTheGeese.

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