St. Cloud, Minn. – The MoonDogs ended their four-game road swing with an even 2-2 mark, as St. Cloud used a 3-4 night from Jonathan Roof (Michigan State) and a stellar pitching performance from Zac Richard (Xavier) to defeat Mankato 2-1 Thursday evening at Joe Faber Field.
Richard and Ryan Demmin (UW-Oshkosh) dictated the game from the hill, as Demmin lowered his season ERA to 1.39, but still suffered the loss despite allowing just two runs (one earned) on four hits through seven innings of work.
Mankato (26-13, 3-3) took the lead in the second courtesy of Xorge Carillo (Arizona State). Carillo singled home Tony Strazzara (San Diego) for the 1-0 lead, but the River Bats (17-23, 4-2) put up two runs in the sixth for the final margin.
It was Roof who delivered the big blow as he tripled home the tying run and then scored on an error by Brian Haar (San Diego) to put the Bats up for good. The Bat bullpen took over from there, as Drew Palen (Penn State) tossed a perfect seventh, Connor Lambert (Washington State) struck out two in the eighth and Xavier Esquivel (Loyola Marymount) pitched the ninth for the save.
Brenden Webb (Palomar CC) and Taylor Black (Kentucky) both had two hits for the Moondogs, while Roof was the only River Bat with multiple hits. The MoonDogs outhit the Bats 7-6 on the evening.
The MoonDogs will return home Friday for a two-game set with first half South Division champion Eau Claire. First Pitch Friday will be at 7:05.