(Mankato, MN) – The newest addition to the MoonDogs (7-8, 24-25) pitching staff made his presence known in his first outing as starting pitcher Chris Bennett (1-0) shutdown the league’s highest scoring offense, leading the MoonDogs to a 2-1 victory over the Alexandria Beetles (7-8, 25-24) Monday night in Mankato. Bennett went 6 1/3 innings, giving up just a single run on five hits while fanning five Beetle batters.
The MoonDogs offense managed to record eight hits, but plated just the two it needed to record the win. Left fielder James Keithley led the way for the MoonDog offense, going 2-for-4 with a double and scoring the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the fourth inning. First baseman Adam Abraham was also 2-for-4 for the MoonDogs. Shortstop Jason Christian was 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored, and second baseman Sean Nicol recorded the MoonDogs’ only RBI. Center fielder Jovan Rodriguez was also 1-for-3 with a stolen base.
After Bennett shut down the Beetles offense for 6 1/3 innings, the bullpen showed even more muscle, throwing a hitless final 2 2/3 innings to lock up the win. Relievers Josh Castanza, Adam Abraham, and Chad Dawson combined to strike out two to finish off the game. Dawson recorded his 12th save of the season.
The high-powered Alexandria offense received its only highlight of the night when third baseman Victor Sanchez hit a solo home run off Bennett in the top of the fourth inning. Catcher Keith Castillo was 2-for-2 on the evening. Alexandria starter Matt Drummond (1-1) went five solid innings, giving up just two runs on six hits while striking out seven. Reliever Gunner Glad shut out the MoonDogs over the final three innings, giving up just two hits and striking out three.
The MoonDogs will look to sweep the series against the Beetles tomorrow night, July 24, at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato. The game will start at 7:05 pm. It’s also Kids Night and Baseball Bat giveaway presented by Subway. The first 400 kids 14 and under will receive a full sized wood baseball bat.