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Pitching Leads MoonDogs to Series Win Over Stingers

MANKATO, MINN.– While time and time again in the early going the Mankato MoonDogs have relied on hot bats at home, on Sunday night they capitalized on two great pitching performances to earn a 2-1 victory over the Willmar Stingers  at Franklin Rogers Park in the rubber match of an early-season Northwoods League series.

While the game was not decided until the very last batter, the night belonged to MoonDogs’ starter Cameron Giannini (Southern Mississippi).  Giannini (3-1) put together the most dominant outing so far this season, finishing three outs away from throwing a complete game shutout. The right-hander finished throwing eight innings, giving up a only two hits, two walks and striking out nine.

When it came time to get the last three outs, Jess Amedee (Texas- Arlington) once again came through for Mankato.  Amedee picked up his fifth save of the season as he continues to emerge as the MoonDogs’ go-to closer in this young season. 

The ninth inning started a little dicey for Amedee and the MoonDogs, as a hit batter, wild pitch, and a double cut Mankato’s 2-0 lead in half and left the tying run at second.  But Amedee and the MoonDogs’ defense persevered retiring three straight Stingers including a game-clinching strikeout that sent the crowd at the Frank into a frenzy. 

As for Mankato’s offense, the MoonDogs were once again able to get on the board fast, as Josh Fuentes (Saddleback College) drew first blood by reaching home off of a wild pitch in the first inning.

Quinnton Mack doubled the MoonDogs’ lead in the fourth inning with a solo home run, his second of the year.  Chase Simpson (Wichita St.) also factored in the offense going two-for-four on the night.

The win clinched a 3-2 series win over Willmar, and helped draw the MoonDogs slightly closer to the Stingers in the standings, who are still currently three games ahead of Mankato.  The MoonDogs also hold a 4-3 advantage in the season series. 

Next up for the MoonDogs is a pair of home games against the Thunder Bay Border Cats, Monday night is Minnesota Twins Night presented by KTOE  Twins alumni Juan Berenguer will be on hand to throw out the first pitch, as well as TC Bear and organist Sue Nelson.

Season and single game tickets are on sale at the MoonDogs office located at 1221 Caledonia Street in Mankato.  For more information visit the website at www.mankatomoondogs.com or call the office a 507-625-7047.