By: Connor Wachtel
Rochester, Minn. — The Mankato MoonDogs glided out of Rochester with a series split after a double-digit second inning that led them to a 13-5 victory over the Rochester Honkers Friday night.
Rochester got on the board first Friday to take a one-run lead, but it wasn’t long before Mankato would counter. They answered fast with three runs on back-to-back-to-back free passes in the second. The first RBI went to Zach Kokoska after he was hit by a pitch. The second was a walk for Zach Gilles. In the next at bat, Evan Berkey wore another pitch to make it a 3-1 game, still with two outs.
It didn’t stop there, after a move to the pen in the next at bat, Dylan Phillips cleared the bases with a three-run double to make it 6-1. Mankato loaded the bases again before the two-out rally was put to rest. Tanner Craig came up and capitalized with a double to right field that one-hopped the wall to score two more. Craig’s Evansville teammate, Danny Borgstrom, lined an RBI single up the middle to score another pair. Rochester got their third out in the next at bat to put a stop to the MoonDogs’ 10-run, second-inning, surge. It made it a 10-1 game after the second frame and led the MoonDogs to their third win of the season, in an eventual 13-5 final.
The Honkers got three runs back in the sixth with help from a trio of bases-loaded walks. The score was 10-4 through six at Mayo Field.
The MoonDogs and Honkers traded runs in the seventh, making it an 11-5 game. For the Dogs, Berkey doubled to right to score Gilles. The Honkers scored on an infield ground out.
MoonDogs insurance came in the form of a Craig two-run home run in the eighth. Craig’s second home run of the summer scored Max Wright and made it a 13-5 game, where it would ultimately finish.
Friday’s box score read 13 runs and hits respectively with no errors for the visiting MoonDogs. The Honkers finished the night with five runs, 11 hits and an error.
Southpaw MoonDogs’ starter, Tyler Theriot, had a no decision in his second start of the summer Friday. Theriot went four innings and surrendered a run in the first while allowing four hits total. He walked three and retired five on strikes. In relief, Nolan Pender was chosen for the win in his first appearance in a MoonDogs jersey. Pender pitched the fifth in relief and worked into the sixth. He gave up three hits for three runs (two earned) and washed the rest of his stat line with a pair of walks and strikeouts. Christian Johnson worked the eighth and ninth, allowing three hits, walking two and striking out four.
The loss went to Honkers starter, MacGregor Hines, after he worked into the second, but struggled to get a third out and the Dogs pounced on him for six runs. He walked two with one strikeout Friday.
For tonight’s box score click HERE.
The Mankato MoonDogs (3-10) are back at Franklin Rogers Park tomorrow to take on the Willmar Stingers (10-2) for the first time this season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 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.