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MoonDogs Blast Their Way to Rout Sweep of Honkers

MANKATO, MINN. – The Mankato MoonDogs were not afraid to swing the bats, and swing the bats hard on Tuesday afternoon as they racked up 20 hits and five home runs during a 18-5 trouncing of the Rochester Honkers at Mayo Field, sweeping the two-game series.

While there were many different MoonDog who found success in the batter’s box, the two players with the biggest days were Timothy Arakawa (Oklahoma State), and John Michael Twichell (Texas-Arlington).  Arakawa was nearly perfect at the plate, finishing five-for-six with two runs scored and five RBIs, highlighted by a three-RBI double in the fifth inning. 

Meanwhile Twichell made a strong case to be named Northwoods League Player of the Night a second consecutive time as he hit another pair of home runs in addition to the two bombs he hit on Monday night.  The Dallas, Texas native finished the series batting an astounding 5-for-10 with nine RBI.

The MoonDog’s offense went much deeper than Arakawa and Twichell however, as every starting player recorded at least one base hit.  Matt Jones (Southern Illinois), Hibraim Cordova (U. of the Cumberlands), and Josh Fuentes (Saddleback) each notched a home run and a pair of RBIs, with Fuentes adding a third.

Rochester was able to build an early 2-0 lead with runs in the first and second innings, but the wheels started to fall off during a five-run, three-home run third inning for Mankato.  Taking the 5-2 lead into the fourth inning, the MoonDogs did not look back, scoring and scoring often the rest of the way, making it a difficult afternoon for Honkers’ starter Mason Pingel (Western Illinois, 2-3) and the rest of the Honkers’ defense. Pingel takes the loss lasting four innings, giving up ten hits and eight runs, including four homers.

Mankato starting pitcher Brock Dykxhoorn (West Virginia, 2-3) played solid to get the win, even with the impressive run support he had.  The large right-hander threw seven innings spraying eight hits for five earned runs, while striking out a pair. Both of Dykxhoorn’s victories this season have now come at Mayo Field against the Honkers, with the first coming in a 3-1 decision on June 6.

Bryan Bonnell (UNLV) and Sam Clay (Georgia Tech) provided all the bullpen assistance that Dykxhoorn needed, combining to throw the last two innings of shutout ball.

Overall the MoonDogs dominated the two-game series against a struggling Honkers squad still looking for its first win of the second half.  The MoonDogs outscored the Honkers by a 28-7 margin in the series, as they improve to 4-2 while Rochester falls to 0-6.  Mankato also holds a 5-2 edge in the season series with the sweep, as Rochester has not beaten Mankato since their home opener on May 30.

The MoonDogs hope to keep their winning ways going in a home-and-home series with Alexandria playing Wednesday night at Knute Nelson Memorial Stadium before returning to Mankato on Thursday for a 705 p.m. start time at the Frank.  Acclaimed entertainment group The ZOOperstars are set to perform, presented by KEYC.

Great seats are available to all remaining home games, on sale at the MoonDogs office located at 1221 Caledonia Street in Mankato, as well as over the phone at 507-625-7047.  To stay up to date, Like the MoonDogs on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter (@MoonDogsBall), or visit the website at www.mankatomoondogs.com