By Connor Wachtel
Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs fell in their first matchup of the season with the Rochester Honkers yesterday. A quick start for the Honkers got them out to a quick lead and they didn’t look back in route to a 9-1 final.
BOX SCORE: Rochester 9, Mankato 1
Rochester got it started with an RBI single by Andy Armstrong (Oregon State) to score Craig Shepard (Evansville) in the second.
In the third, the Honkers scored two more. A sacrifice fly and a double notched a run each. Rochester held a 3-0 lead after three at Mayo Field.
The home team blew the game wide open in the fifth with three more tallies. A pair of home runs by Tristan Peterson (New Mexico State) and Shepard put the Honkers up 5-0. Rochester upped their lead to 6-0 with a wild pitch to score another.
A single by Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) got the MoonDogs on the board in the seventh. Mankato still trailed 6-1 after the sixth.
Three more insurance runs came across for Rochester in the seventh. In fashion, they came from a home run and a pair of singles. After the seventh the score was 9-1 where the Honkers would ultimately win game one.
Nick Novak (Angelo State) earned the Dogs notable offensive performance, going 3-5 with the lone run scored for Mankato.
Earning the win was Rochester’s starter, Ryan Dorney (Saint Martins), he went five innings allowing only three hits and no runs. He walked two and struck out seven others.
Handed the loss was the MoonDogs right-hander Nick Schmidt (Missouri State) who went 4.1 innings and surrendered six runs (five earned) and nine hits. Schmidt walked four and struck out one along the way. Cole Hoskins (Grand Canyon) came on to pitch the ninth and struck out two, allowing no hits or runs.
Due up for the Dogs:
Up next for the Mankato MoonDogs (11-12) is the Rochester Honkers (13-9) again today at Mayo Field for a matinee game and the series finale. Trent Baker (Angelo State) will start for the Dogs on the hill. First pitch is slated for 12:05 p.m. in Rochester, Minn.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 225 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG), World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS) and MLB All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.