(Mankato, MN) Bobby Munoz (St. Leo’s) saw his 15-game hit streak end in Friday night’s game, but he didn’t need hits to score runs on this night as the MoonDogs shortstop walked in the first and third innings and came around to score each time. Two runs are all the home team would need to take a very important game from Thunder Bay as the MoonDogs defeated their North Division rival 2-1.
In a battle between two teams fighting for playoff position, the MoonDogs took a one game lead in the overall standings for home field advantage in the divisional round of the playoffs. The win also puts the MoonDogs in a tie for first with the Border Cats.
Starter Bryan Longpre (Grossmont JC) provided a strong outing for Mankato going 6 2/3 innings allowing one run on five hits while walking three batters and striking out four. The MoonDogs bullpen came in to close the door starting in the seventh inning when Dale Dickerson (Nicholls St.) picked up his starter recording the final out of the inning. Zach Calhoon (Texas-San Antonio) pitched a scoreless eighth innings allowing one hit and issuing a walk, but adding a strikeout to finish his stat line. Brendan Lafferty (UCLA) came in to pitch the ninth inning and issued one walk, but converted his second save of the season striking out two batters. This was Lafferty’s second save of the season, with the first one also coming against Thunder Bay when the MoonDogs made the trip north of the border.
Cory Harrilchak (Elon) and CJ Belanger (Cal-State Northridge) continued their hot hitting with each player picking up two hits in the game. Kyle Knudson (Minnesota) and Michael Rockett (Texas-San Antonio) had the only other hits on the evening for the home team.
The two teams will square off again on Saturday in the last home game of the season for the MoonDogs. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.