Zach Zubia’s storybook summer just got even better.
The Rochester Honkers’ slugging first baseman came into Monday’s doubleheader against Thunder Bay with 20 home runs, tied for the Northwoods League’s single-season record.
He doubled to right-center in his first at-bat against Border Cats starter Alex Babcock. Then, in the third inning, he made history.
“My first at-bat I hit a double off the wall, so I was kind of expecting some off-speed pitches in my next at-bat,” Zubia said. “He threw me two curveballs in the dirt, good pitcher’s pitches, then I got a fastball I could drive, maybe a bit off the plate, and I put a good swing on it.”
That’s putting it mildly. Going the opposite way, Zubia hit a screaming line drive that zipped over the right-center field wall, just left of the scoreboard.
“That’s probably one of the best contacts I had all year,” Zubia said. “But I didn’t think it would get out. I thought it would be off the wall.”
The announced crowd of 799 fans gave Zubia a standing ovation as the dugout emptied to congratulate him. The Honkers went on to claim a 4-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader.
“I don’t know how long the record will stand, but it’s cool to own that record, to know that I broke a record that stood for four years,” Zubia said. “To come out here every day and try my best — it’s been nothing but great so far. This will be a summer I’ll tell my kids about someday down the road.”
The Honkers settled for a split on the night as Thunder Bay bounced back to win the second game of the doubleheader 4-0.
Page D4: Honkers split doubleheader with Thunder Bay.