Moondogs Nip Loggers 6-5
MANKATO, MN – For the tenth time in fourteen days the La Crosse Loggers played in a game that was decided by one run and for the seventh time this month they came out on the wrong side, falling to the Mankato Moondogs 6-5 on Friday night at Franklin Rogers Park.
La Crosse drew first blood in this one when David Villar (South Florida) hit into a double play that scored Mitchell Morimoto (Arizona), who had doubled to lead off the game, to put the Loggers up 1-0.
Mankato would answer with one of their own in the second before erupting for four runs in the third off of Loggers starter Cody Ebert (Columbia College) to take a 5-1 lead. But the Loggers would chip away at that lead, scoring once in the fourth, twice in the fifth and another in the seventh to tie the game up at five.
Daniel Amaral drew a lead-off walk for Mankato in the seventh off of reliever Hunter Davis (Duke) and eventually came around to score though to give the Moondogs a 6-5 lead.
La Crosse did try to mount another ninth-inning rally when Garrett Christman (Butler) led off with a single, followed by Villar getting hit by a pitch. Jorge Guiterrez (Texas A & M) then executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with only one out. After an intentional walk was issued to Cam Cannon (Arizona), Moondog closer Nathan Dewsnap then struck out Jake Hirabayashi (UCLA) and Korey Lee (Cal) to end the threat and the game.
Christman led the Loggers eight-hit attack on the night with three of his own, including a solo home run. Morimoto continued his recent tear by collecting two more hits, pushing his three-game road trip total to eight.
The Loggers will now return home to Copeland Park for a Saturday night tilt with the Eau Claire Express at 6:05 p.m. Gates open early at 5 for Happy Hour in the Howie's Home Run Hangout and a Fireworks Extravaganza, presented by The AmericInn, will take place after the ballgame.