(Mankato, MN) – After a near two hour rain delay, MoonDogs starter Luke Vine (4-5) threw a gem that saw him strikeout fourteen Huskies over the course of 7 2/3 innings and give up just two hits, but the Huskies (18-12, 38-26) finally got to Vine in the eighth inning, scoring the one run they needed to defeat the MoonDogs (15-14, 32-31) 1-0 Wednesday night in Mankato. Duluth starter Andy Marks (7-3) was equally impressive, throwing eight shutout innings while striking out twelve.
As hard as it was to come by baserunners in the game, the MoonDogs did have chances. Multiple balls managed to reach deep onto the warning track during the game, including a shot to dead center by third baseman Nate Hanson to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning that fell just short of leaving the park. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, second baseman James Keithley singled. Shortstop Sean Nicol, the only player in the game to record multiple hits, laced one down the left field line, but Keithley was thrown out at home plate going for the game-tying run.
The MoonDogs recorded five hits, led by Nicol’s two-hit performance. Hanson and first baseman Adam Abraham each stole a base for the MoonDogs. Following Vine’s performance, Abraham finished off the game, giving up two hits in an inning and a third pitched.
The Huskies had just four hits in the game, but recorded one just when they needed it. After getting the first out Vine walked shortstop Robby Price, who stole second. After second baseman Joey Bonadonna grounded out to shortstop and Price advanced to third, center fielder Chris House scorched one back at reliever Adam Abraham that flew off the mound and into center field, scoring Price from third base for the game-winning run. To complete the game, the Huskies brought in Kyle Blair, typically a starter, who got Hanson to fly out to deep center before striking out two MoonDog batters to record his first save of the season.
The MoonDogs will be host to the St. Cloud River Bats tomorrow night at Franklin Rogers Park. The game is set to start at 7:05 pm. It’s Baseball Glove Giveaway Night, where the first 300 kids 14 and under receive free MoonDogs baseball gloves.