Mankato, Minn. – After an edge-of-your-seat ninth inning, Tim Griffin completed the first no-hitter in Mankato MoonDogs history. Griffin struck out 10 batters and walked four to record the milestone no-no, as he led the MoonDogs to a 6-0 victory over the St. Cloud River Bats at Franklin Rogers Park Monday night.
Griffin (Rollins), an All-Star this season, faced the minimum in five innings, and did not allow a runner past second base. All of his strikeouts were of the swinging variety, as he recorded two Ks in four separate innings.
The ninth inning saw Danny Oh (Cal) reach on a one-out error to set up an epic battle with Zac Richard (Florida Gulf Coast). Richard had a nine-pitch at-bat, fouling off six, before hitting a soft groundball to third. The double play went Cody Fick (Evansville) to AJ Pettersen (Minnesota) to Evan Kohli (Illinois St.) at first to finish the no-no for Griffin.
Griffin moved to 4-2 on the season and lowered his earned run average to 1.64 on the summer. Matt Summers (UC Irvine) walked eight in just over four and one-thirds innings to fall to 1-1.
The MoonDogs had several offensive contributors, as Kyle Knudson (Minnesota), Brenden Webb (Palomar CC) and Ryan Durant (Iowa) all recorded two hits. Webb had a double, triple and two RBI while Pettersen also added two RBI and a stolen base.
The MoonDogs would score all the runs they would need in the first via a Pettersen RBI groundout and Webb’s RBI triple. With the bases loaded in the second, Pettersen drew a bases loaded walk to make it a 3-0 ballgame.
The MoonDogs put it well out of reach in the sixth with a three-run outburst. After a Fick walk to start the inning, KC Serna (Oregon) tripled him in to make it 4-0. Another walk and a hit batsman preceded a Jimmy Patterson (Arizona St.) RBI walk to bring in the fifth MoonDog run. The inning ended after Webb’s RBI double turned into an unconventional 8-4-2-5 double play as the MoonDogs capped off the scoring with a 6-0 lead.
The no-hitter was the 12th in Northwoods League history and fourth this season. The two teams will meet again tomorrow at the Frank. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m. as the MoonDogs will go for their third straight win; their first such of the second half.