MoonDogs End Losing Streak at Three Defeat Brainerd 17-8
(Mankato, MN) The Mankato MoonDogs finally manufactured some runs for their pitching staff and ended their losing streak at three beating the Brainerd Blue Thunder 17-8 on Friday night. Mike Lobacz (Elon), Cory Harrilchak (Elon), Michael Rockett (Texas-San Antonio), and Tony Strazzara all had three-hit games, but the biggest swing of the bat came in the bottom of the fifth when Kyle Knudson (Minnesota) crushed his first home run of the season, a three-run shot, over the left field wall. Knudson and Rockett each drove in four runs on the evening.
MoonDog starter Kolby Wood (Michigan) struggled in the second inning giving up five runs, but recovered to pitch four solid innings for the home team. Wood was followed on the mound by Wes Freie (Iowa) who has become a great asset to the Mankato bullpen in the past two games. Freie allowed two runs on four hits, but got credit for the win as the MoonDogs had already built their run total to 11 at this point in the game. MoonDog fans were also happy to welcome back Brendan Lafferty (UCLA) who pitched two innings for the home team allowing one run on one hit and striking out two.
The MoonDogs move 15-6 with the victory and add a game to their lead on the second place Rochester Honkers, who dropped their contest to St. Cloud 7-0. The loss drops Brainerd to 6-11 on the season. The MoonDogs will travel to Rochester for a doubleheader on Saturday evening. The first game will be a make-up both teams’ season opener that was rained out on May 29th. The two teams will play two seven inning games on Saturday, before returning to Mankato on Sunday evening to play a game at Franklin Rogers Park.