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Honkers lose 7-run lead, game to visiting Waterloo

The Rochester Honkers opened an 8-1 lead after three innings on Sunday, but couldn't make that lead stick in a 10-9 loss to the Waterloo Bucks.

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The Rochester Honkers couldn't have asked for a better start.

But the first three innings of Sunday's Northwoods League baseball game against the Waterloo Bucks at Mayo Field were as good as it got.

The Honkers opened a seven-run lead after three innings, but watched that lead — and the game — dwindle away as Waterloo rallied for a 10-9 win.

Rochester (11-15 overall) gave up five runs in the top of the fifth inning, then three more in the top of the eighth as the Bucks — who sit in last place in the Great Plains Conference, East Division at 7-19 — rallied for the victory.

Neither team played particularly well in the field, as they combined for nine errors, six of which were committed by Waterloo.

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The Honkers struggled offensively after a six-run first inning, three runs of which were unearned and two others occurred due to bases-loaded walks. That gave the Honkers a 6-1 lead after one.

Zachary Meddings had a two-out, RBI double for Rochester in the second inning, and Kimo Fukofuma was credited with an RBI in the bottom of the third when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. That made it 8-1 after three

Waterloo's five-run sixth inning was highlighted by a two-out grand slam by Liam Critchett, pulling his team within two after six.

Kyle Huckstorf got the Bucks within a run, at 9-8, with a leadoff homer in the top of the eighth. With two outs in the inning, Ryan Grabosch delivered a two-run base hit that drove in the tying and winning runs.

Rochester had plenty of chances to extend its lead — and blow the game open — but the Honkers stranded a whopping 20 runners on base in the game. They stranded the bases loaded an incredible five times — in the first, third, fourth, eighth and ninth innings.

They loaded the bases on a single, an error and a walk in the bottom of the ninth — getting the winning run into scoring position — but Bucks' reliever Grant Hubka got Rochester's Tyler White to strike out swinging to end the threat and the game.

Rochester plays division rival Bismarck at home Monday at 6:35 p.m. and again Tuesday at 12:05 p.m.

Box score: Waterloo Bucks 10, Rochester Honkers 9

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