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Honkers Drop First-Half Finale 6-5

 

(Mankato, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers (16-19) dropped their fifth consecutive game in a 6-5 loss to the Mankato MoonDogs (20-16) Tuesday night at Franklin Rogers Park. The Honkers committed four errors in the game. Tuesday night marked the final day of the Northwoods League first half.

Kenyon Yovan (Oregon), in just his second at-bat as a Honker, hit a three-run home run in the top of the first inning, scoring Morgan McCullough (Oregon) and Zach Zubia (Texas).

Two Rochester errors led to two runs for the MoonDogs in the bottom of the second inning. Alvaro Rubalcaba (Cal. State Northridge) singled to left field with two outs, scoring C.J. Shaffer (Western Illinois) from second base. An error by Rochester left fielder Mike Echavia (Nevada) allowed Rubalcaba to move to third base. He scored on an error by the first baseman Zubia, pulling the MoonDogs within a run.

Mankato tied the game in the bottom of the third on a RBI double by Zac Wiley (Bellarmine), scoring Ethan Valdez (Nicholls State).

Konnor Zickefoose (UC Irvine) led off the top of the fourth inning with a double. He took the lead back for the Honkers on a RBI single by Michael Michalak (DMACC). McCullough followed with a single, scoring Michalak and giving the Honkers a 5-3 lead.

Mankato erased the Rochester lead again in the fifth inning. After a leadoff single by Toby Hanson (Minnesota), Valdez followed with a RBI double. Valdez scored and tied the game four batters later on a sacrifice fly to center field by Shaffer.

The Honkers bullpen held the MoonDogs quiet for two innings, but ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth inning. After two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs in the inning, Valdez hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Amaral for the go-ahead run.

Naithen Dewsnap (Cal. State Bakersfield) earned the win (1-0) for the MoonDogs. He pitched the final two innings, without giving up a run or a hit while striking out two batters.

Jacob Green (Lake Erie) took the loss for the Honkers (0-1). He pitched one inning, giving up one hit on one run while walking one batter.

The Honkers will start the second half of the season at home tomorrow, July 5, against the St. Cloud Rox. It is Cinco de Julio night at the ballpark. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. Manny Armendariz (Doane) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Honkers. Armendariz is 1-0 this season with a 4.35 ERA.

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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.