The Rochester Honkers (11-6) fell to the Waterloo Bucks (7-10) in a low-scoring contest at Mayo Field. Daniel Zang (Dakota County Technical College) got the start for the Honkers, and Johnny Blake (Clarke University) was on the mound for the Bucks.
Tyler White (Sacramento State) led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and stole second on the next pitch. Waterloo catcher Corbin Castle (Baylor) nailed White at second base, which was the first time White had been caught stealing all season.
The next batter, Paul Schoenfeld (Colorado Mesa), reached on an infield single and tried to swipe second as well. Castle was ready that time, too, and Schoenfeld was also thrown out at second base.
That completely took the wind out of any offensive threat for the Honkers until the fourth inning.
Through two innings, Daniel Zang was looking strong. He did not strike out a batter in his previous start, but in this one, five of his first six recorded outs were via the strikeout.
In the top of the third, Zang retired the first batter he faced and then allowed four hits to the next five batters. When the smoke cleared, Waterloo was ahead 3-0, and the Honkers had work to do.
In the fourth, Schoenfeld led off with what should have been a single to center, but Blake Burris (Arkansas State) dove for the ball, and it rolled to the wall. Schoenfeld ended up on third base with nobody out.
Jakob Guardado (Pasadena City College) drove Schoenfeld in on a ground ball to second base, which put the Honkers on the board.
Will Lavin (Western Illinois) took over for Zang in the fourth and tossed four shutout innings while striking out seven batters. He was masterful, knew when to change speeds and eye level, and always dialed up his low-to-mid 90s fastball when needed.
The Honkers moved within one in the bottom of the seventh when Nico Regino (Charleston) had the night off pinch hit for Alec Gomez (Orange Coast College) with runners on first and second and two outs. Regino smacked a fastball into center field, bringing Ian Daugherty (Oklahoma State) home and the Honkers within one.
Waterloo got the run back in the next inning as Brodie Kresser (West Virginia) scored on a wild pitch by newcomer Greyson Christian (Northeastern State) to take a 4-2 lead.
The Honkers had a chance to tie the game in the eighth, but Kimo Fukofuka (San Jose State) grounded into a double play which virtually ended the threat. The Honkers went down in order in the bottom of the ninth for their fourth loss in five games.
The Rochester Honkers are back tomorrow on the road against the Waterloo Bucks. First pitch is at 6:35 pm.
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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