Honker-Bucks Play Second Longest Game in Northwoods League History
ROCHESTER, MN -- After 17 innings of play, tied for third most innings played in a Northwest League game, over 500 pitches, six hours and ten minutes of gameplay, the second longest game by time in league history, and a 19 minute light delay, the Honkers (5-10) pulled out an epic 7-6 victory against the visiting Waterloo Bucks (11-4) on a walk-off balk.
The Bucks got out to a huge lead scoring six in the first. The Bucks offense got started on a lead-off home run by Alex Boxwell to start the game. Robert Neustrom then drove in Zach Weatherford to make the score 2-0. Neustrom was then driven in by Lane Milligan, who scored on Brody Weiss' RBI single to make the score 4-0. Then Weiss and Tyler Curtis were driven in by Daniel Perry to make the score 6-0.
The Bucks were then held scoreless for the next 12 innings by Honkers starter Spencer Johnson and valiant efforts out of the pen four different Honkers.
Meanwhile, the Honkers chipped into the Bucks lead bit by bit.
The comeback started in the bottom of the first inning when Mark Contreras in his first game for the Honkers in his second year in Med City, hit a two run bomb to right center to make the score 6-2.
The Honkers were able to score two more times in the second when Christopher Scalisi drove in Troy Traxler to make it 6-3, then Keaton Weisz scored on a passed ball to make it 6-4.
For the final two runs in the comeback, catcher Jackson Thoreson took over. Thoreson went deep, first in the third than again in the fifth to tie the game.
From that point on, the Honkers were held scoreless, but they had several chances, stranding 15 runners on base from the fifth inning on.
Both teams were given great pitching performances out of their bullpens after disappointing, but inning-eating, performances from their starters.
For the Honkers, Jackson Rose, who had been roughed up in his starts earlier this season, went four shutout innings, giving up only one hit and striking out seven. Robert Paccione then came in to relieve Rose, and also went four shutout innings giving up one hit, while walking two and striking out three. Tanner Schumacher then came in for the fourteenth and pitched the rest of the game for the Honkers going 3.1 innings striking out three, walking one, without giving up a hit before leaving with a lower back injury in the top of the 17th and relieved by Hunter Van Horn (W, 1-0) who finished the inning unscathed and got the win.
For the Bucks, they got an inning out of both Hunter Spencer and Nate Spielvogel to keep the game tied but the biggest performance for them out of the pen came from Jonathon Buckley who went five innings allowing only one hit, while walking two and striking out two. In addition, Bucks closer Brandon Downey continued his dominance on the mound going two innings striking out three while giving up two hits.
The defense for both teams improved as the game went along, as the teams went errorless during the final six innings, after having seven combined errors in the first nine.
After recording one out in the top of the fifteenth, the lights went out at Mayo Field when the clock struck 12:00 AM. According to Honkers staff, the lights went out due to a timer set by the city of Rochester. After a 19 minute delay gameplay started and the second longest timed game in Northwest league history continued.
In the bottom of the 17th, Contreras worked a walk to reach for his seventh time on the day, and after a single by Thoreson that advanced him to third, Contreras scored on a balk by pitcher Andrew Muehlberger (L, 1-1) to give the Honkers the win.
The Honkers will be back in action tomorrow for the second of a five game home stand as they play the Duluth Huskies (7-9) at 7:05 for the first of two games at Mayo Field.