MoonDogs Drop "Extra"-Exciting Opener
(Rochester, MN) – The MoonDogs were so excited to open the season against Rochester, they thought they would play extra. After ten hard fought innings, the Honkers finally pulled away for a 4-3 win over the MoonDogs on first baseman Brett Featherston’s double scoring right fielder Jareck West with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning off Blake Devries (0-1).
The action started in the bottom of the second when West homered to left center in his first at bat for the Honkers, giving Rochester a 1-0 lead. The MoonDogs responded in the top of the 4th. After right fielder C.J. Belanger walked and left fielder Jovan Rodriguez singled, first baseman Danny Keefe smashed the MoonDogs first homer of the season down the left field line off Honkers starter David Sever to give the MoonDogs a 3-1 advantage. In the bottom of the 4th inning, the Honkers put two more on the board when David Flores singled to score second baseman Brian Spear and West, tying the game at 3-3.
After five scoreless innings for both teams, the MoonDogs finally had a chance to send the go-ahead run across the plate. With two out in the top of the 10th, center fielder Jaime Armendariz reached first base on a walk by reliever Reed Woytek. Armendariz then stole second, giving shortstop Bobby Munoz the chance to be the hero. Munoz ripped a single to center field, but Honkers center fielder Drew Hoisington laced a throw to catcher Derek Norris who tagged out Armendariz at the plate. After registering two outs in the bottom of the 10th, the Honkers finally scored the game-winning run on Featherston’s double down the right field line.
For the MoonDogs, starter Jordan Tiegs went 5 1/3 innings allowing three earned runs on four hits while striking out three. Reliever Will Palmer replaced Tiegs successfully, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings and fanning one. Devries allowed just the one hit and earned run in two innings of work. In addition to solid pitching, the MoonDogs had two quality performances from Keefe and Munoz. Each of them recorded two hits in four at bats, including Keefe’s homerun. Keefe drove in three runs and scored once.
For Rochester, Sever went six innings, giving up three runs on four hits and striking out six. Relievers Greg Martin and Reed Woytek combined for four innings pitched, giving up just two hits. The Honkers got one hit a piece from five different batters, most notably West, who hit a solo homerun and scored three of the Honkers four runs.
The MoonDogs will host their home opener tonight against Rochester. Tonight’s game will start at 7:05 pm at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato. Hall of Famer Bob Feller will be in attendance as well as Wally "The Beerman.” Following the conclusion of tonight’s game, the MoonDogs will host a fireworks extravaganza. Tickets are still available in the MoonDogs ticket office or at the door. The gates open at 6:05 pm.