MoonDogs Blow Four-Run Lead, Lose in Extras at Rochester Thursday
By: Connor Wachtel
Rochester, Minn. — The Mankato MoonDogs suffered a gut-wrenching loss Thursday night, blowing a four-run lead and losing to the Rochester Honkers, 7-6, in extra innings.
Mankato struggled with timely hitting and defensive miscues again in their 13th game. They totaled 15 hits and six errors. The errors and untimely hitting played the biggest part in the MoonDogs falling to a 2-10 record this season
The errors came early and often for the Dogs. Rochester got on the board in the first off the first mishap and held a 1-0 lead through one.
Maddux Houghton, the MoonDogs right fielder, led off the third with a base knock that later resulted in a run after a Zach Kokoska RBI single to tie the game, 1-1.
The MoonDogs batted around in the fourth after Emanuel Dean wore a pitch and took a free pass to start off the inning. Two batters later, Dean’s UCLA teammate, Michael Curialle, drove him in from second on an RBI single. From there, the bases loaded with MoonDogs while the Honkers had yet to get an out. It took a move to the bullpen before Rochester could get an out. Then, with one down, the Honkers walked in Evan Berkey and Zach Gilles popped an RBI double off the left-field wall. It scored a pair and made it a 5-1 game following the four-run, three-hit fourth in Rochester. However, it was all downhill for the Dogs from there…
In the fifth, the Honkers ran it back with three hits for three unearned runs, getting help again from two more MoonDogs errors. It was a 5-4 game at Mayo Field after five innings.
The Honkers tied the game in the ninth when Connor Denning grounded out to second and scored Kyle Huckstorf from third.
The 10th inning saw Mason Hull add a sixth RBI to his summer resume by singling to left to score Zach Kokoska who resided at second to start the inning due to the ITB rule that was in effect. The Dogs took the 6-5 lead into the bottom half and lost the lead and more in the second go around.
After a walk to put two on, Honkers’ second baseman, Taison Corio, doubled to right field to score two. It was the game-winning hit and gave Rochester their third win of the season in walk off fashion.
Rochester’s reliever, Kragen Kechely, got the win after pitching in the ninth and 10th frames. He surrendered a run and three hits, but struck out two of his six outs.
MoonDogs second-year vet, Shane Barringer, started pitching and was solid, going six complete innings. Barringer’s outing was deemed undecisive after previously being in line for the win. In his second start of the season, he allowed no earned runs while giving up three hits. He walked one and struck out eight. Jarret Krzyzanowski pitched the seventh frame and allowed a walk and struck out two others. MoonDogs two-way threat Dylan Phillips moved to the hill from first base in the eighth and struck out the side. Phillips moved back to first for the ninth to make room for Tyler Eckberg. Eckberg blew the save in the ninth. Likewise, Keon Taylor did the same in the 10th against his old team, the Honkers, surrendering the win on an extra-base hit. He was handed his second loss and blown save of the summer.
For tonight’s box score click HERE.
The MoonDogs (2-10) are back in Rochester, Minn., tomorrow to close out the series with the Honkers (3-6). First pitch, at Mayo Field, goes out at 7:05 p.m.
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods 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, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.mankatomoondogs.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.