Mankato, Minn. – Danny Pulfer ended a three-hour, 59-minute marathon with a two-run double in the top of the 14th to give Rochester a 5-3 victory over Mankato Sunday evening at Franklin Rogers Park.
Pulfer (Oregon), who was brought into the game in the 12th inning as a pinch-runner, laced a line drive down the left field line off Alex Burgos (State College of Florida) that scored both Scott Berke (UNLV) and Aaron Dunsmore (Dayton) for the winning runs.
The MoonDogs had to come back in the ninth to force the extra baseball, as they posted a run in the bottom of the ninth off Rochester closer Arik Sikula (Marshall). Kyle Knudson (Minnesota) walked to start the inning and advanced to second on a Ryan Durant (Iowa) groundout. Bryan Haar (San Diego) came up big for the second night in a row, drilling a single through the left side to tie the game at three.
Haar (San Diego) had another great night at the plate, going 3-4 with two RBI to lead the MoonDogs (27-15, 4-5). For Sikula it was his second blown saves in as many nights, as he gave up a three-run lead last night to Thunder Bay.
The long ball accounted for much of the scoring early on in the game, as Knudson launched a solo shot in the fourth inning to make it a 2-0 MoonDogs lead.
The Honkers (27-15, 8-2) used two long balls of their own to take the lead. In the seventh, Rance Roundy (UNLV) drilled a solo shot to cut the MoonDog lead to 2-1. Corey Jones (Cal St. Fullerton) then added to his league lead in home runs off Mankato starter Tim Griffin (Rollins), belting a line shot over the right field wall for his 11th to give Honkers the 3-2 lead before the Dogs came back to tie in the ninth.
Griffin pitched well despite the home runs, striking out four and allowing just five hits in seven and one-thirds innings.
Burgos suffered the loss despite pitching valiantly in relief. The two runs he allowed in the 14th were unearned, as he pitched four and two-thirds innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six. Scott McGough (Oregon) earned the win, pitching a perfect two innings. All total, both teams used a combined nine pitchers.
Despite most of the lineup getting six at-bats, Drew Beuerlein (UNLV) was the only Honker with multiple hits, as he went 2-5 with two doubles.
It was the second time this season the Dogs and Honkers played 14 innings, as the two squads played a suspended, 14-frame affair in the season’s second game.
The two squads will play a matinee tomorrow at Mayo Field in Rochester. First pitch will be at 1:05 p.m.