Six-Run Ninth Earns Dogs 7-4 Win at Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay, Ontario – After eight innings it looked as if a sputtering MoonDog offense was going to drop its third of four games in Canada. However, a six-run ninth inning rally highlighted by Evan Kohli’s bases clearing double gave the Dogs a 7-4 victory, and series split with Thunder Bay at Port Arthur Stadium on Saturday night.
The Dogs (13-14, 36-24) sent 10 men to the plate in the frame, as they scored five of the six runs with two outs.
Xorge Carillo (Arizona State) plated the first run in the ninth with a looping double down the right field line to cut the lead to two. After two consecutive outs the Dogs continued to go to work on Thunder Bay (13-13, 22-38) closer Drew Erwin (Nicholls State).
After a Danny Miller (Minnesota State) single to right-center scored Carillo, KC Serna (Oregon) singled and Brenden Webb (Palomar CC) walked. Kohli (Illinois St.) followed with his big line-drive double to the left-center gap, plating three runs and putting the MoonDogs up for the first time in the game. Ryan Durant (Iowa) capped the rally with another looping RBI double down the right field line for the sixth MoonDog run of the inning.
The six-hit ninth for the Dogs gave them four players with multiple hits. Miller led the way with three hits while Serna went 2-4 with a run. Tony Strazzara (San Diego) went 2-5 with two runs and a home run while Kohli finished 2-4 with a run and three RBI.
Cameron Smith (New Mexico) finished the evening a perfect 2-2 to pace the Border Cats. Pitching-wise, Tyler Powell (Belmont Abbey) turned in a solid start, going eight innings and striking out five to take a tough-luck no-decision.
Alex Burgos (State College of Florida) earned the win with three near-perfect innings of relief. He moved to 3-2 by striking out three and allowing two base-runners on two HBP.
It was a rocky first inning for the Dogs as the Cats sent eight men to the plate en route to three runs. Matty Johnson (Bellevue) walked, stole second, advanced to third and then scored on a Jake Petricka (Indiana State) wild pitch to make it 1-0 Cats.
The Cats plated two more runs with two outs. Andrew Schugel (Central Arizona) doubled to bring David Phillips (Ole Miss) in. Curtis Wagner (Santa Clara) immediately followed with another double to make it 3-0 Border Cats after the first.
The Border Cats plated what looked to be another insurance run in the sixth when Garret Houts (USC) drove in Derek Hamblen (Belmont) with a single to center.
Petricka would settle down, as zeroes were thrown up on the scoreboard until the seventh when Strazzara made it a two-run game. Strazzara blasted a line drive home run down the left field line for his third dinger of the season to start a run of seven unanswered MoonDog runs.
The MoonDogs will have Sunday off before the return to Franklin Rogers Park Monday for a two-game series with Alexandria. First pitch Monday will be at 7:05 p.m.