(Rochester, Minn.) – A four-run third inning propelled the Mankato MoonDogs to defeat the Rochester Honkers 5-4 Thursday at Franklin Rogers Park. The MoonDogs improve to 6-3 in the second half and 27-18 overall. The Honkers fall to 2-7 and 19-26.
Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) finished 2-for-4 and drove a two-RBI double. Alex McGarry (Oregon State) picked up his fifth multi-hit game of the season for the Honkers. McGarry finished 2-for-4 and drove in a run. Christian Robinson (Stanford) added two more hits for the Honkers.
Honker’s starting pitcher Drew Slade (Ripon) was the games losing pitcher. Slade worked three innings giving up four runs on five hits. Zach Sundine (Lamar CC) came in relief to toss three innings and give up just one run on one hit. The run was not an earned run. Ryan Dorney (St. Martin’s) and Michael Brandt (Augustana) each tossed a scoreless inning.
The Honkers got on the board scoring a run in the third. McGarry singled to drive in Michael Michalak (Illinois) who reached on a single of his own.
Kenton Crews (Evansville) got the MoonDogs on the board in the third after an hour long rain delay. Crews doubled to bring home a run and even up the score at one. Crews was later driven in by a single off the bat of Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State) to put Mankato up 2-1. MacDonald came around to score on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 3-1. Nick Novak (Angelo State) capped off the scoring in the inning for Mankato driving in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Mankato put up an insurance run in the sixth as Novak came around to score on the only Honker error of the game to make the score 5-1.
The Honkers fought back in the eighth scoring two runs off a double by Hardy to cut the MoonDogs lead to 5-3. Robinson got the Honkers even closer driving in Hardy with a single to make the score 5-4.
Mankato starting pitcher Josh Ramirez (Washburn) got the win for the MoonDogs. Ramirez worked six innings and surrendered one run on six hits.
The Honkers and MoonDogs will rematch Friday at Mayo Field. Chad Tworek (Keiser) is scheduled to start for Rochester. The right-hander has been stellar on the mound for the Honkers posting a 4-1 record and a 2.00 ERA. Jarod Wright (Southern Mississippi) is scheduled to start for Mankato, Wright has a 0-1 record and a 4.43 ERA. Friday will be $400 Travel Voucher Night presented by FLY RST and ZRock 107.7. One lucky fan will win a $400 travel voucher. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.rochesterhonkers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Honkers as your favorite team.