Duluth, MN – For the second time in just over a week, the Mankato MoonDogs and Duluth Huskies were forced to play a double header because of rain and poor Field Conditions. The two teams split a pair of 7 inning games back on June 2nd, but Monday night’s double dip was a different story.
Game 1 Mankato 5, Duluth 0
The MoonDogs offense got the evening started off on the right foot Monday night, plating home four runs in the top of the 1st inning on three hits. After a Chase Simpson (Wichita State) walk, Ryan Tuntland (West Virginia) knocked in a pair of runs with a bases loaded double. Chase Simpson scored two batters later on a Krysthian Leal (Maryland) Sac-Fly, with Tuntland scoring the fourth and final run of the inning on a two-out, Hibraim Cordova (University of the Cumberlands) RBI single.
Mankato struck again in the top of the 2nd inning with their fifth run after Tim Lynch (Southern Miss) reached on a leadoff single. After advancing to second on a Tuntland sac-bunt, and moving to third on a passed ball, Lynch scored on a Matt Jones (Southern Illinois) RBI sac-fly.
Five runs would be all MoonDogs needed, with starter, Julian Esquibel (Faulkner University) tossing the first Mankato shutout of the summer. The right-hander was dominant over 7 innings, striking out five Duluth batters, walking two, while throwing 88 pitches.
Huskies starter Burke Seifrit suffered the loss, giving up all five runs on four hit over one inning. Clint Echols entered the game in the second, giving up just three hits while striking out three MoonDogs batters over five innings.
Game 2 Mankato 3, Duluth 2
The MoonDogs took another early lead in game two, scoring two runs in the top of the third inning. Jake Ellison (Middle Tennessee State) singled to lead off the inning, and scored a batter later on a Kendall Patrick (Blackhawk College) RBI double. Patrick would later score on a one-out Tim Arakawa RBI single to left.
Duluth got their offense rolling in the bottom of the inning with a Kyle Teaf double to left, and later scored their first run of the day on a Trey Vavra triple. The Huskies tied the game up 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out Alex Wojciechowski RBI single, driving in Michael Suiter from second.
Leal came up big for Mankato again in the top of the seventh inning, smashing a one-out triple deep into the gap in right-centerfield, putting the go ahead run 90 feet away from home. After a Duluth pitching change, Cordova came to the plate in a pinch hitters role, laying down a picture perfect safety squeeze bunt, scoring Leal from third.
Jess Amedee (Central Arizona) picked up his second save of the season, striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure the win. Bryan Bonnell (UNLV) pitched well in his second start of the summer, but did not factor in the decision, allowing one run on five hits while striking out two batters over five innings. Jesse Harbin (Arkansas Little Rock) allowed the game tying run in the sixth, but ended up with the win, after allowing a run on two hits over one inning of work.
The MoonDogs return home to Franklin Rogers Park Tuesday June 11th against the Willmar Stingers for Bark in the Park Night presented by BENCHS. Any fan that brings their dog to the game gets in free. Season and single game tickets are on sale at the MoonDogs office located at 1221 Caledonia Street in Mankato. For more information visit the team’s website at www.mankatomoondogs.com or call the office a 507-625-7047.