MoonDogs Blank Beetles 4-0

Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs took one step closer to a first half North Division title. The Dogs used clutch two-out hitting and a league leading sixth shutout of the year for a 4-0 victory over second-place Alexandria Saturday night at Franklin Rogers Park.

Up 1-0, the MoonDogs (19-9) pulled away in the sixth inning with three runs with two outs. With Brenden Webb (Palomar) on third and Kyle Knudson (Minnesota) on first, Ryan Durant (Iowa) chopped a ball through the left side past a diving Vance Albitz (UC San Diego) for a 2-0 lead. AJ Pettersen (Minnesota) followed that with a double that scored both Knudson and Durant for the final 4-0 margin.

The MoonDog pitching staff regained its form a day after blowing a four-run lead in Duluth. Zach Whitman (Georgia Southwestern) picked up his third win (3-1) by allowing three hits and striking out nine in five and two-thirds innings. The MoonDog pen squelched any hope of a Beetle (16-13) comeback, as Adam Jung (Central Arizona), Jimmy Patterson (Central Arizona) and Tony Manville (Northern Illinois) held Alexandria hitless over the last three and one-thirds innings.

Durant led all hitters with a 3-4 night that included two runs and an RBI. Cody Fick (Evansville) also recorded two hits for the MoonDogs, who improved to 12-2 at home and a perfect 16-0 when leading after seven innings.

Mitch Handley (North Alabama) suffered the loss for the Beetles, falling for the first time at 2-1 on the season. Albitz, Mikel Alvarez (Florida Gulf Coast) and Tim Roberson (Florida Gulf Coast) accounted for the lone Beetle hits.

The MoonDog win also snapped a franchise record, seven game win streak for the Beetles.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow, as the Dogs will try to move closer to clinching the North Division’s first half title. First pitch from the Frank will be at 6:05 p.m.