By: Connor Wachtel
ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs (9-6) lost their first contest with the Rochester Honkers (5-6) 4-3, Monday at Mayo Field.
There were four lead changes in the first meeting between the in-state rival MoonDogs and Honkers. Adam Fogel (Hawaii) guided the MoonDogs offensively with a 2-for-4 evening that featured a solo home run.
Fogel opened the scoring in the fourth inning by hitting a missile out to left for what was his first home run of the season to give Mankato a one-run lead. However, Rochester quickly answered with a pair of runs to grab their own lead in the bottom half. The runs were driven in on a two-run home run hit by Hank Bard to centerfield. After four frames, the Honkers had a 2-1 lead.
In the seventh, Dustin Demeter (Hawaii) doubled which scored Evan Berkey (Cal State – Bakersfield) to tie the game before Demeter eventually scored on a passed ball and gave the MoonDogs a 3-2 lead. However, the Honkers quickly responded after stretching time by also scoring a pair to reclaim the lead 4-3.
That concluded scoring for the first game of the series, the Honkers held on to win 4-3, Monday.
Both teams had eight hits in the affair with no errors going either way. The Honkers doubled up the MoonDogs in runners left on base with a 10-5 margin.
Earning the win was Rochester’s right-handed pitcher Patrick Williams. While moving his record to 1-0, Williams pitched the seventh inning and got the win despite allowing three hits and two runs (one earned). In relief of Williams, Jay Thompson earned his first save of 2021. His two-inning save featured just a pair of hits allowed.
Falling to 1-1 in 2021 was left-handed pitcher John Lundgren (North Alabama) who worked three innings in relief of starting arm Jonathan Clark (San Jose State), who made his MoonDogs debut Monday in Rochester. Lundgren gave four hits for two runs and struck out three along the way.
The MoonDogs’ and Honkers’ rematch is set for Tuesday, 6:35 p.m. back at Mayo Field.
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’ 27th 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.