Mankato, Minn.- The Mankato MoonDogs were the victors on Thursday evening against the Brainerd Lakes Lunkers by a score of 4-1 behind another strong pitching performance by Blake Schwartz (Minnesota St.). Schwartz pitched 5 2/3 innings, spreading out seven hits, giving up one runs and striking out four Lunker batters. Schwartz now moves to a remarkable 6-1 on the season, with a 1.55 ERA.
The MoonDogs jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning after roughing up Lunker starting pitcher Jason Forjet (Florida Gulf Coast). Coming into the game, Forjet led the Northwoods League in ERA with a 1.33. Forjet’s ERA jumped to 1.95 after being roughed up by the ‘Dogs.
Chris Ross led off the first inning scoring with a single to center field, then Nick Judkins (Creighton) advanced on a walk, moving Ross to second. Then Shaun Cooper (Utah) was hit by a pitch that loaded the bases for Sam Lind (Vanderbilt). Lind started the scoring with a single to right field that scored Ross from third. Joe Loftus (Vanderbilt) subsequently hit a single to right field as well, scoring Judkins. With two outs, Whitt Dorsey (South Alabama) closed out the scoring with a single to center field that scored both Cooper and Lind.
The 4-0 cushion was all Blake Schwartz needed as he shut down the Lunkers in his duties on the mound. Steven Rice (Vanderbilt) and Patrick Goelz (Bethune-Cookman) both pitched out of the bullpen Thursday evening and were efficient in their time. Rice pitched 2.0 innings and gave up one hit and struck out one batter. Goelz came in and pitched 1 1/3 innings giving up one hit and striking out two. Goelz was credited with the save, his third of the season.
Whitt Dorsey and Sam Lind led the MoonDog offense. Lind was 2-for-4 from the plate with and RBI and a run scored. Dorsey continued to swing a hot bat for the ‘Dogs going 2-for-3 with two RBI.
The MoonDogs with look for the sweep in the two game series against Brainerd on Friday night at 7:05 at Franklin Rogers Park. Friday night is MinnStar Bank Baseball Giveaway. The first 300 kids receive a free MoonDogs 10th season baseball.