Rochester came back to 0.500 thanks to their fourth straight win. Here are five takeaways from the Honkers 7-1 win over the Minnesota Mud Puppies.
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Take care of the business
If Rochester wants magic in the late season, they have to hold their own against inferior competition. Saturday’s 7-1 win over the Minnesota Mud Puppies was exactly what the doctor ordered. The Mud Puppies have had big problems this season (4-23) and have only won once in their last 10 games. The Honkers tied with the Mud Puppies at 1 through the seventh innings, but a late inning offense knocked the Honkers over. But if Rochester really wants to make noise, they can’t afford to take the Mud Puppies lightly.
Two-way magic again
The Honkers seem to have the ability to easily get it done with runners in scoring position and two outs. On Saturday it was Benjamin Rosengard who arrived at the end of the seventh inning with the go-ahead single with two runs. Then Ben North followed suit with a monster two-run double to give Rochester a big 5-1 advantage. The Honkers offensive hasn’t been fantastic all year round, but they’ve been in the clutch lately and that’s a big part of why they picked up four straight wins and came back to .500.
Kellen Pate fights against the command, but keeps Honkers in himself
Honkers starter Kellen Pate would probably tell you that he didn’t have his best things on Saturday. But the Northwestern freshman found a way to handle the traffic in each inning and left after allowing only one run in three innings. Godfather went three and hit two thugs. So five of the 16 hitters he faced (31 percent) got on the base without hitting a hit. Godfather loaded the bases in the second inning with two hit by pitches and one walk, but Godfather also owns strikeout stuff and fanned out Max Gamm with the bases loaded and one out. But he will regret not putting Henry George away, and the lonely run came when he escorted George with a full offer. Despite struggling through mechanical issues, Godfather was able to grind and get a groundout from Kyle Huckstorf to end the threat and keep the Honkers very much in the game. Sometimes you can win a lot by finding a way to master an excursion when you don’t have the best stuff. Godfather showed the Honkers pitching staff that they can flirt with danger but still get away with minimal damage.
Ben Grable beams with relief
The Honkers went piggybacking with the northwestern piggyback duo of Godfather and Grable and that turned out to be a good choice. Grable competed in the fourth inning and absolutely dominated the line-up of the Mud Puppies. Grable only allowed one single and deleted seven. He allowed the first two batterns to hit in the fourth inning (hit by pitch and single), but he responded with three strikeouts. He ended his three-inning foray by fanning the team out in the sixth as well. The 6-foot-4 Northwest freshman has now dropped 12 out of 7 1/3 innings this year. Its advantage is through the roof.
Miguel Ortiz gives the order a blow
Miguel Ortiz hit a solo home run in the eighth inning and finished 7th in the Honkers line-up with two hits on one day. It was California State’s first home run of the year, the Fullerton product, and its second extra-base hit.