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Published On: May 29th, 2009

Rochester, Minn. – On a picturesque evening in Rochester, the MoonDogs felt the opening day jitters, as three errors and two unearned runs led to a 5-3 victory for the Rochester Honkers Thursday evening at Mayo Field.

Troy Larson (Minnesota) led the offense for the MoonDogs in the opener, recording two hits and an RBI. Cody Fick (Evansville) also added an RBI for the Dogs.

The MoonDogs never led in the game, as Rochester got out to a 2-0 lead in the second via a two-run home run by Danny Brock.

Mankato answered with two runs of its own in the third. Larson came around all the way from first on a Chris Murrill (Nicholls State) bunt that was thrown away by the Rochester catcher to make it a 2-1 game. Fick (Evansville) then knocked in the tying run with a sacrifice fly to make it a 2-2 ballgame.

Mankato nearly took its first lead in the fifth, but Larson was nailed by a perfect throw and tag from Rance Roundy to Drew Beurlein on a shallow fly to right to keep the game at two.

The momentum carried over for the Honkers, as they added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, to take a 4-2 cushion.

The MoonDogs would threaten one more time in the seventh, as Xorge Carillo (Central Arizona) and Danny Miller (Minnesota State) started the inning with base hits. After a Nick Judkins (Iowa Central) sacrifice, and a Larson RBI-groundout to make it 4-3, Matt Mullendore got Murrill to strikeout looking to preserve the lead. The Honkers would then add an insurance run in the eighth on a solo blast by William Arnold for the final 5-3 margin.

Second-year pitcher Ryan Demmin (UW-Oshkosh) pitched well for Mankato, allowing just two earned runs over six innings of work. Demmin struck out five Honkers, falling to 0-1 on the season. Alex Burgos (Manatee) came on in relief of Demmin in the seventh, recording strikeouts for five of his six outs.

The opener has not been kind to the ‘Dogs, as they are 1-8 in opening day games since 2002.

First pitch for the MoonDogs home opener tonight will be at 7:05 p.m. against the same Rochester Honker club. Former major league pitcher Jerry Koosman will be the opening day guest and a fireworks extravaganza will take place after the game.