(6/30/06) The Mankato MoonDogs needed perfect execution to earn a victory Friday night, and they did just that in the 10th inning.
Shane Buschini threw out a runner at the plate to end the top of the 10th, and moments later, Tim Smith singled home the winning run in the bottom half to give the MoonDogs a 2-1 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks.
The Woodchucks appeared to be on the verge of taking the lead in the 10th when an error put runners on the corners with one out. But the MoonDogs executed a rundown, with catcher Brandon Davis chasing Ryan Wilkes back to third before flipping the ball to Chris Brown to make the tag. Pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso then laced a single into right field, and Brint Hardy was waved around third. But Buschini fired a perfect one-hopper to the plate that beat Hardy and preserved a 1-1 tie.
The MoonDogs carried the momentum into the bottom of the inning, when Chris Henault was hit by a pitch to lead off, and moved to second after Nate Hanson laid down a bunt that the Woodchucks could not field, putting two runners on. Ryan Addison then put down another successful bunt to move the runners up, setting the stage for Smith, who singled to center to give the MoonDogs their fourth consecutive extra-innings win.
On MSU Night at Franklin Rogers Park, it was only fitting that Minnesota State-Mankato’s Dane Secott got the starting assignment. Secott, whose 0.85 ERA entering the night was fifth in the Northwoods League, had another sterling performance by going eight innings and allowing just one unearned run on three hits.
Jason Novak continued his dominance of Wisconsin, pitching 1.2 innings and allowing two hits to earn his second victory. Novak has thrown 4.2 shutout innings against the Woodchucks over the last four days, earning two saves and a win.