(Mankato, MN) Tony Strazzara (San Diego) continued his hot hitting going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two driven in and Cass Via (Garden City CC) had a three run triple in the second inning as the Mankato MoonDogs offense erupted for 13 runs defeating the Alexandria Beetles 13-5 on Sunday evening.
The Alexandria pitching staff struggled with their control throughout the game issuing nine walks and hitting two batters. The pitching staff walked in four runs on the evening. Starter Brian Diemer went 2 1/3 innings for the Beetles allowing nine runs (eight earned) on four hits, three walks, and two hit batsmen. His counterpart Brendan Lafferty (UCLA) pitched six solid innings for the home team allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five and walking two. Josh Castanza (Hillsborough CC) allowed two runs on a Bryan Holaday home run in the seventh inning, but struck out two batters to get out of the inning without too much damage done. Dale Dickerson (Nicholls St.) allowed two hits and an unearned run in the eighth inning, but managed to strike out the side. Zach Calhoon (Texas-San Antonio) came into the game in the ninth and set down the side in order striking out one.
The MoonDogs bunched their runs together early in the game scoring four in the second and six in the third. A Wes Freie (Iowa) single and a Strazzara double started the inning out on the right foot and a CJ Belanger (Cal-State Northridge) walk loaded the bases for Via, who unloaded them and blazed around the bases for his first triple of the season. The third inning began with back-to-back hit batsman as Michael Rocket (Texas-San Antonio) and Carlos Ramirez (Chandler-Gilbert) were each plunked by starter Diemer. Rockett left the game for precautionary reasons. The MoonDogs were quick to avenge their teammates with Mike Lobacz (Elon) reaching on an error and Strazzara driving in two with a single. Walks scored the next three runs for the MoonDogs.
Every MoonDog outside of Rockett ended up with a hit in the contest and seven MoonDogs drove in runs. The win pushes Mankato to 7-5 on the season and 27-19 overall. The loss drops the Beetles to .500 (7-7) in the second half and 21-26 overall. The two teams will play an again on Monday in Mankato’s only afternoon game of the season. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm.