Freie and Krill Homer MoonDogs Past Bucks
(Mankato, MN) The MoonDogs had an opportunity to sew up home-field advantage on Saturday evening against the Thunder Bay Border Cats, but could not finish the job dropping a game to the second-half champions 6-2. The first-half champions still have a chance to host two games in the divisional round of the playoffs, but it will take a sweep of Waterloo and a loss by Thunder Bay in the season finale to clinch the advantage. The MoonDogs took the first step towards a sweep on Sunday with a 9-4 victory over Waterloo.
Brett Krill (UCLA) and Wes Freie (Iowa) each homered for the visitors and newcomer Mike Kvasnicka (Minnesota) went 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored to lead the MoonDogs to their highest run total in the past week. Freie also added two singles on the game and Krill added a double to his stat line. Cass Via (Garden City CC) also had a good night at the plate going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The MoonDogs put their runs on the scoreboard in bunches scoring three in the third inning, two in the sixth inning, and four in the eighth inning taking. The visitors took an 3-0 lead in the third as Kvasnicka led off the inning with a triple and scored on an error by the Waterloo second baseman. Bobby Munoz (St. Leo’s) drew one of his two walks in the game and advanced to third on the same error. Cory Harrilchak (Elon) followed this sequence with a double and advanced to third on an error by the catcher. Harrilchak scored after a Mike Lobacz (Elon) walk as Freie was reaching base on Waterloo’s third error of the inning.
The Bucks did get on run back in the bottom of the inning off of MoonDogs starter Kolby Wood (Michigan). This is the only run Wood allowed in the contest as the right-hander pitched six innings allowing the lone run on three hits while walking five and striking out a handful as well.
Two runs would be as close as the Bucks could get the rest of the game answering the MoonDogs two-run sixth with two runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh. The visitors did not want to put too much pressure on their bullpen and Krill’s two-run shot in the eighth gave the team all the breathing room they would need. Zach Calhoon (Texas-San Antonio) pitched the seventh inning allowing two runs on two hits while walking one batter. Calhoon opened the seventh with a walk and followed this with his first strikeout of the inning. The Bucks then put back-to-back hits together scoring two before Calhoon struck out the last two batters he faced.
Dale Dickerson (Nicholls St.) came in to pitch the eighth for the MoonDogs and allowed on run on three hits while striking out one. Scott Matyas (Minnesota) pitched a scoreless ninth inning which included two strikeouts.
The MoonDogs will look to clinch home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a win in tonight’s game. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm. MoonDogs fans can become Duluth fans for one night as the Huskies will need to defeat the Border Cats to give the MoonDogs the best overall record.