After two consecutive days off, the Rochester Honkers (15-14) were back in action to take on the Minnesota Mud Puppies (6-10). The Mud Puppies came away with the 8-6 extra-inning win as the Honkers fell further in the Great Plains East standings.
The pitching matchup had Kaden Wickersham (Hutchinson County College) going for the Honkers while Isaac Roers (Minnesota-Crookston) got the ball for the Mud Puppies. Wickersham worked his way into a jam right away.
On the game’s first pitch, Tanner Recchio (St. Thomas) hit a hard ground ball to shortstop, and Brendan O’Sullivan (UNLV) badly booted it. Recchio stole two bases, and Kyle Law (North Dakota State)came to the plate with runners on the corners with two outs.
Law would ground out to the third base to end the inning, but it was just the beginning for Minnesota. Roers held the Honkers scoreless in the bottom of the frame, and then the Mud Puppies’ offense went to work in the second.
Wickersham retired the first batter of the inning, gave up two singles and a walk, and loaded the bases with just one out. Recchio hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home the first run, and Mitch Cummins (Des Moines Area CC) knocked into more with a single to put Minnesota up 3-0.
The Honkers began to chip away in the third inning as Marco Castillo (Georgetown) reached base on a one-out single through the right side. The next batter, Paul Schoenfeld (Colorado Mesa), reached on an error that put two runners on for Tyler White (Sacramento State).
White laced a single into center field, which brought Castillo to the plate and moved Schoenfeld over to third. Unfortunately, White was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, so the score stayed 3-1.
The Honkers put up another run in the fifth inning as Castillo came around to score on an RBI single by O’Sullivan. This put the Honkers within a run.
At this point, Kaden Wickersham had settled in. The sophomore went six innings, allowed three runs, and put his team in position to pick up a win and gain some ground in the division.
Once Wickersham was removed, Aidan Dorsch (Folsom Lake College) came on in relief. That’s when the Minnesota offense decided to wake up.
Aidan Dorsch struck out the side in the seventh, by Recchio reached, and two errors were allowed to score, which made it a 4-2 game. The Honkers would answer at the bottom of the inning.
Kyle Fossum (Washington) led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, and Logan Mock (Southern Indiana) was hit by a pitch. Castillo advanced them into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt.
Then, with two outs, White came to the plate and hit a hard ground ball to third base, and Carson Hake (North Dakota State) threw it away and allowed both runs to score and tied the game. Minnesota retook the lead the following inning after Ben North (Creighton) overthrew Ian Daugherty (Oklahoma State), which caused Hake to score from third.
The Honkers picked up two more runs to regain the lead in the bottom of the eighth and then brought Michael Banderas (San Joaquin Delta College) to close the game in the top of the ninth. Heading into the contest, Banderas had not yielded a run in over 15 innings, but he came out looking shaky.
Bandeas retired the first batter in the ninth, and then Cummins crushed a slider deep over the left field wall to tie the game again. The Honkers could not push a run across in the bottom of the ninth, and the game headed into extra innings.
Law started the inning on second base, and Brady Zavorek (Fresno City College) led off with a single. Chayton Fischer (Minnesota State-Mankato) struck out, but Colten Becker (North Dakota State) singled home both runners, and the Mud Puppies took the lead for good.
The Honkers would load the bases in the ninth, but Fritz Meyer (North Iowa Area CC) struck out North to give Minnesota the 8-6 win in ten innings.
The Honkers are back at it tomorrow against the same Mud Puppies at Mayo Field. 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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