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Honkers Late Heroics Not Enough in Loss to Waterloo

ROCHESTER, MINN. — The Rochester Honkers saw an early lead and late heroics dissipate in a 7-6 extra-innings loss against the Waterloo Bucks on Tuesday night at Mayo Field.

Down to their last two outs in the ninth, Zach Cole (Ball State) belted a pinch-hit two-run home run to right-center field to knot the score at six apiece to give Rochester a chance in extras. In the 10th, Waterloo was able to push across a run on what was eventually a game-deciding sacrifice fly.

Despite falling into an early hole when the Bucks crossed a run on a sacrifice fly in the first inning, the Honkers jumped out to a great start themselves in the bottom half of the frame. Jackson Forbes (San Jose State) extended a season-long on-base streak to 21 games with a lead-off single, and Jack Colette (San Jose State) followed suit with a single of his own. Mac Horvath (North Carolina) worked a walk to load the bases, and hot-hitting Alex Pimentel (Long Beach State) continued the early-game success with a two-run single to take the lead. Cole Fontenelle (Washington) plated the third run of the inning when Waterloo traded a run for two outs on a six-four-three double play, and Rochester found itself with a two-run cushion after the opening frame concluded.

The two-run lead was all Rochester right-hander Aaron Vernon (Benedictine Mesa) would need for some time, as he cruised through the sixth inning without allowing an earned run. Vernon worked two one-two-three innings before finding trouble in the seventh, when a Waterloo double to lead off the inning and a one-out single put runners on first and second.

Rochester went to its bullpen before four runs eventually came around to score to give the Bucks a sudden 5-3 lead. Both teams traded runs in the seventh and eighth innings. The Honkers plated one on a Hank Bard (McLennan CC) single before Waterloo got one right back with a sac fly to set the tone for Rochester’s subsequent demise.

Matthew Maldonado (Lipscomb) threw 2.2 innings of late-game relief but was ultimately saddled with the loss. The Honkers move to 4-4 in the second half of the season, and return to play tomorrow with a day-night doubleheader at Riverfront Stadium in Waterloo against the Bucks. Rochester’s next home game is Thursday night for Faith and Family Night at Mayo Field. Gates open at 5:30 PM for a scheduled first pitch of 6:35.

The Rochester Honkers are in their 28th summer of fun at Mayo Field. 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 #FunForTheWholeFlock.

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The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its 27th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league of its kind in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans and provides a friendly ballpark experience. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 250 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR) each participated in the NWL before they were MLB stars. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. 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.