Local baseball players reunite with Honkers
Published 6:21 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2013
ROCHESTER — It’s just like old times again for a few area baseball players.
At least for a part of this summer, Hayfield grad Tyler Krekling, Austin native and Rochester Mayo grad Steve Serratore, and Triton grad Logan Spitzack are playing together again in the Northwoods League with the Rochester Honkers.
The trio was part of the Austin Post 1216 VFW baseball team that won a state title in 2009.
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“I feel like we’re back in VFW and it’s pretty laid back playing with those two,” said Krekling, an outfielder who will play at Division II St. Paul-Concordia next season after finishing a two-year career at Riverland Community College. “It will really help me get ready for playing in the NISC.”
Krekling said the pitching is a lot better than he saw at RCC as pitchers often throw in the low 90s or high 80s in the Northwoods League. Serratore, a catcher who played at Division III NJCAA Des Moines Area Community College this past spring and plans to play there again next season, said the pitching is similar to what he’s seen in college, but Northwoods League team’s have more depth.
“As the games have gone on, I’ve made better adjustments,” Serratore said.
Serratore and Krekling have known each other since they were first graders and they’re glad to get another chance to play together. Serratore is signed on for the year and Krekling and Spitzack are temporary players, which means the Honkers could let them go any day.
The trio is enjoying its reunion while it lasts.
“I think we’ve all kind of helped each other out,” said Serratore, who is hitting .278 with a home run and a double. “Logan can help Tyler and I with our hitting from a pitchers’ perspective and Tyler and I talk about hitting approaches with each other. It’s always easier to get used to a new team when you know a couple of guys.”
Krekling, who had his first RBI with Rochester Sunday, was set to play for the Hayfield Heat this summer, but he wasn’t going to pass up the chance to play with the Honkers, who field mostly Division I college baseball players.
He found out about his opportunity when the team called him and asked if he could play for them.
“It was a pretty big surprise and I couldn’t turn it down,” Krekling said. “Not too many guys from Riverland play in the Northwoods League and nobody from Hayfield has played in it. It’s a cool experience.”
Spitzack, who pitches at St. Cloud State University and threw for the Greyhounds last summer, is 1-0 with a 0.0 ERA and seven strikeouts in his first 13 innings with the Honkers.