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Published On: May 31st, 2013

MANKATO, MINN— After a frustrating start to the 2013 Northwoods League season, the Mankato MoonDogs cruised to a 12-2 victory over the Rochester Honkers on Friday night at Franklin Rogers Park, avoiding a series sweep..

While slow starts and sloppy infield play marred the MoonDogs’ first two outings, they wasted no time getting on the board Friday, as Chase Simpson (Wichita St.) cranked a three-run home run before the Honkers could record their first out of the game. 

Offensive power was no longer a problem for Mankato, with their 12 hits over eight innings, and their defensive play was just as solid, as the MoonDogs were error-free for the night.

A strong four-run fourth inning gave Mankato some much-needed breathing room right after a Mitch Anderson (RCTC) single brought Rochester within two runs at the top of the frame. 

Mankato had strong batting performances throughout its lineup, as six separate MoonDogs notched a hit, and four of them had multiple-hit nights. 

Zach Zehner (Santa Barbara City College) continued his torrid play, going two-for-three with a pair of RBIs, improving to seven-for-thirteen on the young season.  Hibraim Cordova (U of the Cumberlands) also had a strong game, going three-for-four with three RBIs, highlighted by a solo home run in the fifth.

Leading the MoonDogs stingy defense was starting pitcher Bryan Bonnell (UNLV) who was rock solid going five and a third innings spreading out eight hits but only one earned run.  Cameron Giannini (Southern Mississippi) picks up the save pitching the remaining three and two-third innings, giving up only one hit and striking out six.  The thirteen strikeouts recorded by the MoonDogs brings their team total to an impressive 44 for the season, good for first in the Northwoods League.

The MoonDogs now hit the road for a four game road swing through Duluth and Thunder Bay, game one in Duluth will start Saturday at 735 p.m. Mankato returns to the Frank on June 5 for another date with Rochester, a game presented by Sport PiX and AM 1230 The Fan Mankato. Fans receive a commemorative Brandon Crawford poster.

Season and single game tickets are on sale at the MoonDogs office located at 1221 Caledonia Street.  For more information visit our website at or call the MoonDogs office at 507-625-7047.