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MoonDogs Fall in Playoff Opener to Rochester 3-2

Rochester, Minn. – In yet another tight contest between Rochester and Mankato, Danny Brock’s two-run home run proved to be the difference, as the Honkers took game one of the North Division playoffs 3-2 at Mayo Field Tuesday evening.

Brock’s (St. Louis) homer came after a Corey Jones (Cal State Fullerton) leadoff single in the third inning. Jones and Brock collectively gave the MoonDogs trouble all night, as Jones went 3-3 with a run and Brock finished 2-4 with a run the two RBI.

Drew Gagnon (Long Beach State) gave the Honkers a strong outing, hurling six innings and allowing just one run while striking out seven to pick up the win. Arik Sikula (Marshall) pitched the ninth to get the save.

After Brock’s blast in the third, Xorge Carillo (Arizona State) brought the MoonDogs within one. Taylor Black (Kentucky) started the two-out rally by drawing a walk, stealing second then moving to third on a passed ball. Carillo then came through with a chopper up the middle to bring the score to 2-1.

The Honkers plated what turned out to be the winning run in the seventh. Danny Pulfer (Oregon) doubled to start the inning and moved over to third on a sac bunt. After a strike out, Rance Roundy (UNLV) swatted another double to put the Honkers up 3-1.

The Dogs came right back in the eighth to load the bases with nobody out, but could only muster one run. After a walk to Carillo, a Cody Fick (Evansville) single and a fielder’s choice bunt to Ryan Durant (Iowa), Nick Judkins (Iowa Central) brought home the last run of the game with a sac fly to deep left. The Dogs couldn’t muster any more, however, as Fick was thrown out at home on a KC Serna (Oregon) groundball to third, and Danny Miller grounded out to short.

The Dogs finished with just three hits on the evening – going to Carillo, Fick and Kyle Knudson (Minnesota) – compared to the Honkers 10. Ryan Demmin (Minnesota State) scattered 10 hits and allowed all three runs to take the loss for the MoonDogs. Demmin pitched out of trouble all night, leaving eight men on base in six and two-thirds innings.

The MoonDogs will try to fight off elimination tomorrow at Franklin Rogers Park when the Honkers come to town for game two of the series. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m.