OCONOMOWOC 鈥 While the outcome of any season opener is unlikely to have much of an affect on the final result of a 100-game season, that鈥檚 small comfort for the Lake Country Dock-Hounds after they suffered a 4-2 loss to the Sioux Falls Canaries on Friday night at Wisconsin Brewing Company Park.

"I thought (starting pitcher Bryan Bonnell) after the first inning did a great job 鈥 gave us five innings. I thought the bullpen did a great job. I think they held them to two hits and one run the rest of the game," Dock-Hounds manager Ken Huckaby said. "Hitting was a little inconsistent. We couldn鈥檛 string some hits together tonight, but I鈥檓 confident they鈥檒l come around."

A rough first inning ultimately proved to be the difference on the night, as the Canaries sent eight men to the plate in the frame and scored three runs on four hits and a walk. If not for that rough inning, the Dock-Hounds might have come away as victors in the opener, as they limited the Canaries to one run on four hits and six walks over the remaining eight innings.

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"You鈥檝e got to remember, a lot of these guys it鈥檚 their first time out there in a while. So there鈥檚 going to be some cobwebs," Huckaby said. "Might have thrown in some simulated games or some preseason games, but nothing with that atmosphere with the lights on, so there鈥檚 going to be some rust to kick off, and I think that鈥檚 how it was with Bryan tonight."

Starting his second season with the DockHounds, second baseman Blake Tiberi opened up the bottom of the first with a single for the team鈥檚 first hit of the campaign. But a flyout to right followed by a double play would end the inning and leave Lake Country scoreless.

Sioux Falls would tack on another run in the fifth inning before Lake Country got on the board in the sixth. An RBI single by catcher Josh Morgan and an RBI single by third baseman Justin Lavey would cut the deficit in half and make it a 4-2 game. That would be as close as it got, though, as the Hounds mustered just a pair of singles over the final three innings.

鈥淲e hit some balls really hard tonight. Justin Connell had two balls he hit really hard, Justin Lavey had a couple hits and the ball he hit in the eighth I thought was gone,鈥 Huckaby said. 鈥淚 thought the guys put together some good at bats to get walks in some key situations. There鈥檚 a lot of positives. We just didn鈥檛 get the hits when we had guys on, and a few of those plays early on really hurt us.鈥

Tiberi, Lavey and designated hitter Ryan Hernandez each finished with two hits in the loss, with Tiberi and Hernandez also recording one walk each. Hernandez and shortstop Josh Altmann each scored a run for LC, while left fielder Justin Connell and right fielder Marek Chlup each singled in the loss.

The DockHounds (0-1) will look to turn things around in Game 2 today against the Canaries at 6:05 p.m. Huckaby said that as far as he鈥檚 concerned, it鈥檚 all about keeping the same mindset heading into the season opener going into today鈥檚 game.

鈥淲e鈥檙e going to come in, let the guys get prepared, give them everything they need to succeed and then go out there and try to get a win,鈥 Huckaby said. 鈥淎s far as the season goes, just making sure we stay with a consistent mindset and the players come to the field every day in a positive way and get their work in. Winning is a byproduct of hard work, and so we鈥檙e just going to keep having them work hard.鈥


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