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Published On: July 4th, 2017


(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers (16-18) dropped the series opener to the Mankato MoonDogs (19-16) by a score of 15-9. Jordan Hart (Minnesota State-Mankato) went two-for-four with a grand slam. Zach Zubia (Texas) went zero-for-five from the plate, ending his on-base streak at an incredible 33 games.

The MoonDogs grabbed the first run of the game with two outs in the top of the first inning. Ethan Valdez singled, scoring Daniel Amaral (UCLA) from third base.

After a quiet second inning, Mankato scored 13 runs over the next three innings. Tyler Hanson (Minnesota) hit a ground-rule double over the left field fence in the third, scoring Drew Fearing (North Dakota State). Valdez followed with a two-RBI double to left field. Two runs scored later in the inning on wild pitches.

Leading 9-0 through four innings, Mankato unloaded another five runs in the sixth inning. Amaral, Kyle Cuellar (UCLA), and Jake Shepski (Notre Dame) brought in runs with hits.

The Rochester offense woke up in the bottom of the sixth inning and jumped on the scoreboard in a big way. The Honkers loaded the bases with two outs on a walk and two singles. Hart smashed a 1-1 pitch deep over the right-field wall for a grand slam, his sixth home run of the season. Three batters later, Morgan McCullough (Oregon) singled to left, scoring Griffin Neuer (Bellarmine).

Neuer singled to right field in his next at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring Zeke Pinkham (Louisville) and Michael Michalak (DMACC).    

Ethan Ibarra (St. Cloud State) brought in two runs on a double in the ninth, but the comeback fell short.

Collin Floyd (Youngstown State) earned the win (2-0) for the MoonDogs. He pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out six batters and walking two.

Michael Stryffeler (Lake Erie) took the loss (0-2) for the Honkers. He pitched 2.1 innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits while striking out three batters and walking three.

The Honkers end the first half on the road tomorrow night, July 4, at the Mankato MoonDogs. First pitch from Franklin Rogers Park is 6:05 p.m. Chia-Ching Ho (National Taiwan Sports University) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Honkers. Ho 0-1 this season with a 3.94 ERA. Brett Newberg (Austin Peay) is scheduled to start on the mound for the MoonDogs. Newberg is 1-4 this season with a 3.90 ERA.

The next home game for the Flock is Wednesday, July 5, against the St. Cloud Rox. It is Cinco de Julio night at the ballpark. It is also the start of the second half of the season. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Box Score


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