After getting blanked on Wednesday, the Rochester Honkers’ (3-1) offense came to life in the final game of the two-game set against the Thunder Bay Border Cats (2-2). Starting pitcher Max Mayer (1-0) (Frontier CC) and right fielder Jakob Guardado (Pasadena City College) were the biggest contributors in the contest.
The night seemed to get off to a shaky start as Lucas Terilli (East Central CC) singled to lead off the game, but Meyer wasn’t phased. He struck out the next two batters, and his battery mate Griffen Sotomayor (Washington State) picked him up and threw out Terilli trying to steal to end the inning.
The previous game against Thunder Bay frustrated the Honkers’ offense, but the bats were ready to go in this one. Guardado was moved from fifth to second in the lineup, bringing instant results.
The California native singled in the first and came around to score on Sotomayor’s single up the middle. This run marked the first time the Honkers scored before the fifth inning of a game all season.
After the shutout the night before, one run on the board seemed like a crooked number, and it was all the run support Meyer would need. The young right-hander pitched five strong innings and struck out eight batters in a brilliant performance.
The Honkers provided Meyer with much more than just one run vs. Thunder Bay. The Honkers plated two runs in the fourth inning on a groundout and a wild pitch, respectively.
Rochester kept the pressure on in the following frame as Nico Regino (Charleston Southern) hit a sacrifice fly into deep center field, bringing Jared Davis (Arizona Western) around to score and putting the flock up 4-0.
Meyer’s most difficult inning was easily the top of the fifth. He allowed singles to the first two batters and promptly struck out the side.
Thunder Bay would threaten in the seventh as the team loaded the bases with two outs and brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Zane Skansi (Creighton). Head Coach Cade Peters made the decision to bring in Dylan Tostrup (USC) to get them out of the jam. Tostrup struck out Skansi to keep Thunder Bay without a run.
Rochester added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and all but guaranteed a win. In the ninth, Drew Fifer (Indiana State) closed the door on the Border Cats with his blazing fastball and finished off the Honkers’ first home win of the 2023 season.
The Honkers begin a two-game home series against the Mankato MoonDogs tomorrow on Fri, Jun. 2. First pitch is scheduled for 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!
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, over 310 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 (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.