(Mankato, MN) Franklin Rogers Park has not been a friendly place for the Mankato MoonDogs this week and tonight was no exception as the MoonDogs dropped their third straight game to a team with a below .500 record losing to the Brainerd Blue Thunder 10-3. Brainerd jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning and built upon it the rest of the evening. The MoonDogs did not help themselves out in the field committing four errors on the evening which led to six unearned runs.
Starter Ryan Demmin (UW-Oshkosh) went four innings for the MoonDogs giving up eight runs (four earned) on eight hits. Demmin struck out six batters and walked two and took the loss for Mankato dropping his season record to 1-1. Josh Castanza (Hillsborough CC) provided solid relief for his starting pitcher for the second consecutive night, but it was all for not as the game was already out of hand by the time he came to the mound. Castanza worked three innings out of the bullpen giving up two unearned runs on two hits and striking out three. Wes Freie (Iowa) came into the game in the eighth inning in his first pitching appearance of the season and made the most of it. He faced the minimum number of batters through two innings and struck out one, finishing up the game on a positive note for the MoonDogs.
Bobby Munoz (St. Leo’s) went 3-for-5 on the evening for the MoonDogs collecting three singles and scoring one run. Michael Rockett (Texas-San Antonio), Cory Harrilchak (Elon), and Dan Burkhart (Ohio State) all collected two hits apiece for the MoonDogs who saw their hit production increase from the last series, but the run production stay the same.
The loss drops Mankato to 14-6 on the season and the win lifts Brainerd’s record to 6-11. The two teams will square off again tomorrow night at Franklin Rogers Park with the first pitch set to be thrown at 7:05pm.