The Rochester Honkers (2-0) continued their hot start to their season in their 7-3 victory over the Waterloo Bucks (0-2). It was another solid all-around performance by The Flock in the contest, as both pitching and offense were on display.
Similar to the night before, both teams started slow offensively. Honkers’ starter Daniel Zang (Dakota County Technical College) and Bucks’ starter Andrew Dusablon (Cypress) held the opposing offenses scoreless through the first four frames.
Rochester finally broke through in the top of the fifth inning. Jakob Guardado (Pasadena City College) led off with a walk, but after two quick outs, it looked as if the Honkers were going to strand their fifth runner in five innings.
The lineup turned over, and Alec Gomez (Orange Coast College) singled. Jared Davis (Arizona Western) doubled home Guardado. After a walk to Nico Reginio (Charleston Southern), Griffen Sotomayor (Washington State) singled home both Gomez and Davis to give Honkers a 3-0 lead.
Sotomayor would finish the game with three hits and three RBIs. The freshman catcher finished the two-game set with six hits in nine at-bats.
The Honkers put up three more runs in the sixth on back-to-back RBI doubles by Guardado and Marco Castillo (Georgetown) and a sac-fly by Gomez. A 6-0 lead heading into the game’s later stages put Rochester in a prime position to emerge victorious.
The Honkers turned to the bullpen in the bottom half of the fifth as Cy Murphy (Southern Arkansas) took over for Zang with two outs. The sophomore right-hander surrendered two runs in sixth before Jacob Bosse (St. Ambrose) took over.
Tyler Frey (Wingate) came into the game to pitch in the seventh inning and immediately ran into trouble. The North Carolina native encountered bad luck after striking out the first batter.
A single on a ground ball to shortstop that had a chance to have been stopped, two seeing-eye singles and an error brought a run in and loaded the bases. Frey worked out of it nicely as a sharp ground ball to the left side turned into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Frey pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, and the Honkers pushed another run across in the ninth. Frey was left to complete the three-inning save, and more late-inning drama found its way into the bottom of the ninth.
Frey quickly retired the first two batters of the inning, but a single and a walk brought Michael Lippe (Louisville) to the plate with the tying run on deck. Frey made short work of him, sending him down on strikes.
The Honkers are a perfect 2-0 to start the season and start a five-game home stand beginning with their home opener on Wed, May 31 against the Thunder Bay BorderCats at Mayo Field in Rochester, MN. The scheduled first pitch time is 6:35 p.m.
The Rochester Honkers began their 30th season of play on May 29th. Keep up with the team on social media by following them on Twitter (@RochHonkers) and Instagram (@honkersbaseball) and like the Honkers on Facebook at Rochester Honkers Baseball Club. Interact on social by using the hashtag #FunForTheWholeFlock!
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