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  • Val T.

Huffman hits first career homer, fans career-high 9 in shutout over Caston

McGlothin also hits first homer, Medina adds 4 RBIs


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Rochester junior baseball player Aaron Huffman came into the Zebras’ game at Caston on April 16 with one career hit.

To be fair, Huffman lost his freshman year due to the pandemic.

But this is also a different Aaron Huffman.

Aaron Huffman

Huffman homered, doubled and drove in three runs and also struck out a career-high nine batters on the mound to help lead Rochester to a 16-0 win in six innings over the Comets.

Rochester improved to 5-0. Caston fell to 2-2.

Huffman, Hunter Campbell and Luke Hunting combined on a three-hit shutout with three walks and 13 strikeouts. They never let a Caston runner reach third base.

Offensively, Tarick McGlothin also hit his first career homer as part of a two-hit, two-RBI day, and Ethan Medina had two hits and four RBIs. Colton Ferverda had a single, a double and two RBIs from the No. 9 spot in the order. Jake Seuferer and Tanner Reinartz each added a hit and an RBI.

Talon Zeider, Joey Spin and Sam Smith had one hit each for the Comets.

Huffman only took four at-bats as a sophomore in 2021, garnering one hit. He was 0 for 4 this season coming into the game. He laid down a sacrifice bunt in the first and flew out to center field in the third in the third before cranking out a two-run shot to left in the fifth to make it 7-0.

“It’s my second career varsity hit too,” Huffman said. “The first one was at a sectional game against Wabash. But yeah, I didn’t think it was going over until I rounded second, and I saw the umpire in the motion. It was good, a nice toy for me.”

Rochester hitters had 11 hits, drew four walks, took two hit-by-pitches and took advantage of six Caston errors.

McGlothin’s two-run homer in the sixth kickstarted a nine-run inning. Reinartz and Huffman added back-to-back RBI doubles, Brayden Zink reached on an error, Seuferer singled home a run, Ferverda doubled in two, and Medina doubled in two.

“It’s big,” Rochester coach Cory Good said of the 5-0 start. “It’s nice. But as I continue to preach to these guys, ‘Stay locked in. Stay hungry. We always got something to work on.’ This was the first game that our bats have been really good besides that Delphi game (a 10-3 win on April 5 in the season opener). Other than that, those other three games that we won, our bats weren’t great. So there’s always something to work on.”

Meanwhile, Caston’s offense struggled to make contact two days after an 18-3 win in five innings over sectional rival North White on April 14. They have struck out 42 times in four games. Coach Blake Mollenkopf said he didn’t want the teams’ struggles to bleed into conference play.

“We’re adjusting,” Mollenkopf said. “A lot of kids are getting their first varsity at-bats. It seems like right now we’re struggling with some velocity. The Rochester kids are throwing it around the zone. … (Huffman) just moved it around. Our heads are off a little bit. We’re not taking the knob of the bat to the baseball. Our balance is a little bit off. I thought we had some of that corrected Thursday, but it was back again today. That’s the name of the game, putting the ball between the lines, and there’s no special remedy to do it besides getting back to work until you can get it done consistently.”

Huffman said he relied mostly on his fastball.

“We’re a good team,” Huffman said. “We have good chemistry together, and that’s going to carry us a long way.”

Rochester 16, Caston 0 (6 innings)

Rochester 320 029 – 16 11 0

Caston 000 000 – 0 3 6

WP – Aaron Huffman (4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

LP – Jackson Rentschler (5 ⅓ IP, 8 H, 12 R, 8 ER, 4 BB, 1 K)

2B – Tarick McGlothin (RHS), Aaron Huffman (RHS), Ethan Medina (RHS), Tanner Reinartz (RHS), Colton Ferverda (RHS), Talon Zeider (CAS)

HR – Tarick McGlothin (RHS), Aaron Huffman (RHS)


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