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Resilient Honkers Edge MoonDogs

 

(Rochester Minn.) – The Honkers defeated the Mankato MoonDogs in the opening night game. Rochester overcame an initial 0-7 deficit to take a 13-12 win. The Honkers have won two of their last three openers.

Mankato jumped out to a big lead early in the game. After a leadoff single to lead off the game, Kenton Crews (Evansville) homered to score the first runs of the season.

The MoonDogs piled it on quickly with five runs on five hits in the second inning. Four players doubled in the inning, giving Mankato an early 7-0 lead.

Rees Rua (Lake Erie) put the Honkers on the board in the bottom half of the second with a two-run single with the bases loaded. After a fielder’s choice, Zach Zubia (Texas) hit a three-run home run, the first for Honker the season. Michael Michalak (DMACC) singled in the third to pull within a run of the MoonDogs.

Mankato extended their lead in the fourth, scoring three runs, capped off by a two-run home run by Brett Newberg (Austin Peay).

The resilient Honkers answered back in their half of the frame. Zubia tripled to center field, scoring Rua. Jordan Hart (Minnesota State Mankato) followed with a home run, the fourth of the game, to erase the MoonDogs’ lead back to 10-9.

Two innings later, Michalak tied the game, singling to left, scoring Chris Ceballos (Orange Coast). A bases-loaded walk and Johnathan Fleek (Western Illinois) RBI single gave Rochester their first lead of the game 12-10.

Late in the game, it was the Honkers that had to fend off a comeback instead of trailing themselves. Mankato tied up the game in the eighth on back-to-back-to-back walks.

For the third time in the game, the Honkers answered. Michalak led off the eighth with a double. He came into to score, two batters later, on a Cam Adams (North Park) infield single.

Ryan Thompson (Illinois) pitched the final 1.2 innings of the game. He picked up the first win (1-0) of the season, not allowing a hit with two walks and three strikeouts.

Addison Reed (Chipola) took the loss (0-1) for the MoonDogs. He pitched 2.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits with three strikeouts.

Rochester travels to Mankato tomorrow for game two of the 2017 season. First pitch is 7:05.

Box Score

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The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, more than 160 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). 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.