Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs set a franchise record for wins in a season with win number 42 on Saturday night at Franklin Rogers Park with a 9-8 win over the Thunder Bay Border Cats. This year’s team broke the record that was held by the 2008 MoonDog squad, managed by Jason Nell.
It was a close game through six complete innings before Thunder Bay broke out for four runs in the top half of the seventh inning, giving them a 7-2 lead putting the MoonDogs in a corner with only three innings to play. The MoonDogs didn’t waste any time, staging a magnificent comeback immediately in the bottom half of the seventh inning. The ‘Dogs scored seven runs in the inning to give them a 9-7 lead. The lead was thanks in large part to a plethora of walks given by the Thunder Bay pitching staff. In all, Lee Valencheck (Wright St.) and Nick Dawson (Doane College) walked a combined seven MoonDogs batters in the inning, allowing six of the seven runs scored.
Despite a good performance, starting pitcher Matt Dunbar (Arizona St.) had the no decision for the ‘Dogs, pitching 5 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits and three runs. Steven Rice (Vanderbilt) was the winning pitcher, pitching two innings, giving up two hits and striking out three batters. Patrick Goelz (Bethune-Cookman) was credited with the save (9), and fought out of a jam in the ninth, getting David Fallon (Illinois St.) to fly out to left field with the tying run on third base and the go-ahead run on second base with two outs.
Northwoods League MVP Shaun Cooper (Utah) had another great night from the plate, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. Zak Wasserman was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI.
The MoonDogs will battle Thunder Bay again, tomorrow night at 6:05 at Franklin Rogers Park in the regular season finale. Sunday night is Fan Appreciation Night presented by Charter Communications and Three Eagles Communications. Their will be a post-game Fireworks Extravaganza. The MoonDogs will then play the Alexandria Beetles Monday night at Franklin Rogers Park in a best-of-three series. The MoonDogs will host game one, and game two will be held in Alexandria along with game three, if necessary. Tickets for the playoffs and the final regular season game are now on sale at the MoonDogs ticket office located at 1221 Caledonia Street. For more information visit our website at www.mankatomoondogs.com or call the MoonDogs office at 507-625-7047.