(Mankato, MN) –Brendan Lafferty (UCLA) made his first start of the season for the MoonDogs (18-7) and dominated the Express (11-14) hitters striking out 12 in six innings of work as Mankato cruised to an 8-1 victory Tuesday night.
Michael Rockett (Texas-San Antonio) got things off to a good start hitting a home run (2) off of Express starting pitcher Robert Kilcrease (Texas Tech), on the first pitch of the game. After the MoonDogs scored two more runs in the third inning, Carlos Ramirez (Chandler Gilbert CC) stepped to the plate in the sixth inning and hit a two-run home run (5) off of relief pitcher Willie Beard (Rutgers) to make it 6-0.
Ramirez, who was a triple shy of the cycle, finished 3-4 and leads the league in hitting (.412) and home runs (5). Rockett went 3-5 with a home run and two singles as well.
Lafferty (2-0) made his presence felt on the mound, going six impressive innings allowing no runs on one hit, striking out 12 and walking one. The win gives Lafferty his second victory of the year. Zach Calhoon (Texas-San Antonio), Dale Dickerson (Nicholls St.), and Eric Hamren (UC-Irvine), all pitched one inning in relief for the boys in Orange and Black. Calhoon allowed the lone run in seventh inning. Express starting pitcher Kilcrease was tagged with the loss and drops his record to 1-2 on the season.
The MoonDogs will finish up the two game series in Eau Claire, WI Wednesday night before returning home to Mankato on Thursday for one game against St. Cloud. It will be Mini-Bat Giveaway presented by the Mankato Area Smoke Free Coalition. For more information, please visit www.mankatomoondogs.com or call the MoonDogs Office at 507-625-7047.