Mankato, Minn. – Despite falling behind early, the Mankato MoonDogs posted a five-run second and four-run fourth to snap a two game skid as they topped the La Crosse Loggers 9-5 on Independence Day at Franklin Rogers Park.
The MoonDogs (24-11, 1-1) benefited from five Loggers (22-14, 1-1) errors, as they plated four unearned runs off Logger pitching. The MoonDogs did however, have every starter but one get at least one hit.
Jimmy Patterson (Arizona State) played just five innings, but made the most of his time. The rising junior was a perfect 3-3 and plated three RBI for the MoonDogs. Ryan Durant (Iowa) and KC Serna (Oregon) both had two hits, while Danny Miller (Minnesota State) knocked in a pair of runs.
The Loggers got off to another quick start, scoring a run in the first with two, two-out doubles by Justin Preckajlo (North Florida) and Robert Brantley (UC Riverside). They then scored a pair in the second on a two-run single by Nick Baligod (Oral Roberts) to jump out to the 3-0 lead.
The MoonDogs came back quickly, however with a big five run second in which all nine men came to the plate. Taylor Black (Kentucky) started the scoring with a deep sacrifice fly to the right field corner and was followed immediately by Serna and Miller RBI singles. Patterson then delivered the big blow, ripping a two-run single through the middle to polish off the rally.
The scoring wasn’t over for the Dogs, as the fourth inning was highlighted by four runs, three of which were earned. Brian Haar (San Diego) and Taylor Black came around to score on the second error of the inning by pitcher Andrew McKirahan (Texas). Patterson followed with his second run-scoring single before the scoring was rounded out by Brenden Webb’s (Palomar CC) RBI groundout.
The Loggers would get within one swing of the bat as they scored a run in the fifth on a Brandon Meredith (San Diego State) groundout and on a Greg Holt (North Carolina) single in the seventh. The Loggers did bring the tying run to plate with two outs in the eighth, but that would be as close as they would come.
Four Loggers had two, as Baligod, Holt, Preckajlo and Chris Engell (San Diego) all went for a pair. Baligod was the only one to have multiple RBIs, plating two.
Jake Petricka (Indiana State) tallied his first win of the year (1-2) by settling down after a rough first two innings. Kyle Simon (Arizona) came into the game with sterling numbers, but left three innings into his rocky outing. Simon (4-2) gave up eight of the nine MoonDog runs, only five of which were earned, to take the loss.
Both the MoonDogs and Loggers will have an off-day tomorrow before heading out on the road. The MoonDogs will head to Green Bay on Monday for a 7:05 game while the Loggers will be at Waterloo for a 7:05 contest with the Bucks.