Rochester Royals pitcher Finocchi signs on as assistant coach for Rochester Honkers

May 13—ROCHESTER — Matteo Finocchi is going to pass some of his baseball knowledge on this summer, but he also hopes to pick up a little in return.

Finocchi, a native of Staatsburg, N.Y., has been a left-handed pitcher for the Rochester Royals amateur baseball team the past two years. This season the 24-year-old is also going to be an assistant coach for the Rochester Honkers in the Northwoods League, a wood-bat summer league for current college players.

"This seems like a great opportunity," Finocchi said. "The Northwoods (League) is a great college summer league.

"I'm excited because I've never coached athletes of this caliber before," he added. "I'm just going to soak as much information up as I can from the other coaches and players, picking all their brains and getting as much knowledge as I can."

Finocchi is also the main pitching instructor at The Yard, a baseball facility in Rochester. He has worked with a number of pitchers in Rochester and from the area.

"I would say 99% of the kids I've worked with are ages 13 and up," he said. "And I've worked with quite a few of the pretty talented pitchers in the area this past winter, which was fun."

Working at The Yard helped him land the opportunity with the Honkers. Bo McClintock is the hitting instructor at The Yard and he played college baseball with Honkers manager Andrew Urbistondo. Urbistondo contacted McClintock and wondered if he knew anyone local who would be qualified to help coach the Honkers.

McClintock and Finocchi are also teammates on the Royals.

"Bo and I happened to be talking about it one day and he asked if I would be interested and I said yeah," Finocchi said.

Finocchi and Urbistondo spoke on the phone a few times regarding the position. That led to Finocchi being offered the job.

Finocchi's new role is yet to be defined, but the Honkers do have a pitching coach. He may fill a bit of a utility role, working with pitchers, throwing batting practice, hitting fungos and maybe even coaching first base during games.

"It's a good spot for him," said Matt Meyer, a teammate of Finocchi's on the Royals. Meyer is also a former minor-league pitcher.

Finocchi played college baseball at Division II Mercy College in New York. He has pitched for the Royals the past two seasons and he had a big impact on helping the team win the

Class B state championship in 2022.

He went 10-0 with a 1.70 ERA for the Royals a year ago and struck out 98 in 88 1/3 innings.

Meyer was the Royals' ace during the state tournament run, but Finocchi threw a five-hit complete game to beat the Miesville Mudhens 4-2 in the winner's bracket final of the state tournament. The win moved the Royals to the state title game.

Finocchi was also the assistant varsity baseball coach at Lourdes High School under Dave Jenson last spring, when the Eagles placed third in the state in Class AA.

Coaching the Honkers will have some bearing on his status with the Royals, but Finocchi still plans on playing amateur baseball during the 2023 season.

"With the Honkers, I don't need to go to all the games," Finocchi said. "(Urbistondo) said just try to make as many as I can. And we talked about the role over at The Yard and doing some summer training there and playing myself. So I should still be able to get to enough Royals games that I can pitch quite a bit and help out the team there."

Finocchi said he will start with the Honkers just a couple of days before the players start to arrive. The Honkers are slated to open the season on May 29 at Waterloo, Iowa.