(Mankato, MN) Luke Vine (Southern Illinois-Edwardsville) made his first start of the season going five strong innings allowing only one hit while striking out four and left the game in the very capable hands of the MoonDogs bullpen. The bullpen took care of business for their starter holding the lead for four innings and allowing the MoonDogs to win their third straight game by a score of 3-1 over the Duluth Huskies.
Michael Rockett (Texas-San Antonio) and Carlos Ramirez (Chandler-Gilbert CC) led the MoonDogs offensively as Rockett went 3-for-3 at the plate with a double and two singles, and Ramirez hit a two-run double in the top of the third to give Vine and the MoonDogs an early 2-0 lead. The MoonDogs looked like they would make some more noise in the top of the fifth inning after Rockett led off the inning with a double and Ramirez was hit by a pitch, but the 5-7 hitters could not get the ball out of the infield and the threat was ended.
The MoonDogs did get one more "insurance" run in the top of the sixth when Brett Krill (UCLA) tripled with two outs in the inning and Bobby Munoz (St. Leo’s) drove him in with a single. Munoz was 1-for-4 with a run score and his RBI single on the evening and was one of six Mankato players who registered hits in the game.
The bullpen had another solid outing for the MoonDogs with Josh Castanza (Hillsborough CC) pitching two innings allowing one run on two hits while striking out two. He was relieved by Dale Dickerson (Nicholls St.) who has made a habit of putting himself into tough situations this season, but finds a way to pitch himself out of it. Saturday night was no exception to this as the right-hander walked two batters and hit one. Ramirez helped his pitcher out by throwing out one runner at third base and Dickerson struck out two batters to retire the side. Zach Calhoon (Texas-San Antonio) came into the contest in the ninth and made short work of the Huskies catching a pop out himself, before allowing a fly out to center and a strikeout looking to end the game. Calhoon picked up his third save of the season. Vine moves to 1-0 on the season in his two appearances.
The MoonDogs (11-7, 31-21) and Huskies (7-11, 19-33) will square off again on Sunday as the teams will play a 4:05 game at Wade Stadium. The MoonDogs will return home on Monday to host the Brainerd Blue Thunder at Franklin Rogers Park.