(Mankato, MN) Jimmy Reyes (Elon) pitched eight strong innings allowing only one unearned run on four hits while striking out eight and the MoonDogs generated just enough offense in the seventh and eighth innings to build a 3-1 lead, which ended up being the final score of the game against Brainerd on Monday night.
For his second consecutive outing Reyes pitched a very speedy game as the MoonDogs clinched the victory a mere two hours and one minute after the game began. Reyes held the Blue Thunder almost completely off the base paths through six innings allowing a double in the third inning and a single in the fifth. A single in the seventh followed by an error by shortstop Bobby Munoz (St. Leo’s) allowed the only run of the game to come across for the visitors. Mitch Caster ended up scoring on a passed ball by catcher Carlos Ramirez (Chandler-Gilbert CC).
Ramirez did have a good night at the plate driving in one of the three MoonDogs runs in the second inning with a single into center field. Wes Freie (Iowa) and Brett Krill (UCLA) led the home team on the evening with two hits apiece and Krill added a RBI on his seventh inning single. This run broke the tie for the MoonDogs and they didn’t look back the rest of the game scoring an additional run in the eighth on a Michael Rockett (Texas-San Antonio) triple, followed by a Cory Harrilchak (Elon) RBI single on the very next pitch.
Reyes records his fourth victory of the season tying him for tops on the team with fellow left-handed starter Brendan Lafferty (UCLA). Scott Matyas (Minnesota) pitched a perfect ninth inning which included a fly out, a ground out, and a strikeout, to record his second save of the season. The win moves the MoonDogs second half record to 13-7 and their overall record to 33-21. The MoonDogs remain half a game behind the Thunder Bay Border Cats as the current North Division leaders continued to play good baseball defeating the Alexandria Beetles 17-9. The Blue Thunder drop to 7-16 in the second half of the season and 17-35 overall. The two teams will square off again on Tuesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm.
The win on Monday was field manager Jason Nell’s (Iowa Lakes CC) 100th career victory.