ROCHESTER, MINN – The Rochester Honkers improved to 6-2 at home this season, defeating the Minnesota Mud Puppies 4-2 on Friday night at Mayo Field.
David Rodriguez (Delta College) got the start for Rochester and struggled to start his outing. He allowed a hit, walked two, had an error committed behind him and allowed two runs in the first inning. Minnesota took the lead as Ben Vujovich (St. Thomas) scored on a throwing error and Pete Johnson (Bradley University) drove in the second run with a sac fly to center.
The Honkers quickly responded in the bottom half of the inning. With the bases loaded and two out Will Asby (Sacramento City College) put the Honkers on the board with his team leading 16th RBI on a base-hit. Zack Meddings gave Rochester the lead with a two run double into left center. Rochester led 3-2 going into the second where Rodriguez got into more trouble. However, the Honkers starter settled down and retired the next two to escape the jam.
From that point on Rodriguez absolutely cruised. Including the two outs to end the second he retired 14 straight Mud Puppies at the plate including four consecutive strikeouts at one point. Not another batter reached base against him and only one ball over the 14 batter stretch left the infield. His final line was six innings pitched, four hits, one earned run and seven strikeouts. He got another run of support in the fourth on a Jakob Guardado (Pasadena City College) RBI and that’s all Rochester needed.
Backing Rodriguez out of the bullpen was Jace Root (Santa Clara), Cam Holycross (Indiana State) and Thaniel Trumper (Doane). Those three each threw a scoreless inning. Root and Holycross recorded holds and Trumper saved his third game of the season. The Honkers pitching staff didn’t allow another hit after the second inning, a dominating performance for Rochester on the bump.
The Honkers improve to 7-11 this season and 2-1 on this homestead. After tonight they’ve completed a stretch where they played eight games in seven days. They have Saturday off before welcoming the Duluth Huskies to Mayo Field on Sunday. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. with Brant Alazaus (Walsh) making his second straight start against Duluth.