(Mankato, MN) MoonDogs (21-13, 41-27) pitchers Travis Smith (Michigan) and Ryan Demmin (UW-Oshkosh) combined to pitch an eight inning three-hitter against Waterloo (18-16, 32-34) on Monday night, but it was the two errors that the pitcher’s committed that turned the game for the home team as Waterloo defeated Mankato 3-0 in the regular season finale for both teams.
Smith pitched seven innings allowing one unearned run on two hits while walking three and striking out five. Demmin came in to pitch the eighth inning and allowed a lead-off triple before settling down and retiring the side. Unfortunately, two unearned runs were scored before Demmin could escape the inning and the MoonDogs trailed going into the ninth inning.
It was a true pitcher’s duel as the Waterloo pitching staff also allowed only three hits in the contest, and two of these came in the first inning as Bobby Munoz (St. Leo’s) led off the game with a single before being picked off at first. Cory Harrilchak (Elon) came up two batters later and blooped a single into right field, but could advance no further than this. Brett Krill (UCLA) led off the sixth with a single, but was also erased from the basepaths quickly when Cass Via (Garden City CC) grounded into a double play.
The MoonDogs will begin the divisional round of the playoffs on Tuesday against Thunder Bay at Franklin Rogers Park. Thunder Bay clinched home-field advantage through the first round of the playoffs with a 9-7 victory over Duluth. The format of these playoffs will be one home game for Mankato, followed by two home games for Thunder Bay on Wednesday and Thursday (if necessary). Tuesday’s game will is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm.