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Huge Third Inning Lifts MoonDogs to Win Sweep over Huskies

MANKATO, MINN. – The Mankato MoonDogs were able to capitalize on a massive ten-run third inning to power their way to a 15-5 win over the Duluth Huskies on Saturday night, completing the two-game sweep at Franklin Rogers Ballpark.

Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the third, the MoonDogs blew the ballgame wide open, scorching the Huskies’ defense for ten runs on eight hits and one error.  Mankato batted through the order and then some in the frame, seeing fourteen batters take an at-bat.  In the offensive outburst there was only one play that brought home more than one run, a two-RBI double off the bat of Timothy Arakawa (Oklahoma State).  The All-Star outfielder had another big night, finishing 5-for-6 at the plate scoring three runs and batting in four, on top of adding his 24th stolen base of the season.

Duluth was quick to get back up off of the mat and deliver a blow of their own, as they cut Mankato’s lead to 10-6 with a five-run fourth inning.  The Huskies strung out five hits in the frame, four coming on starting pitcher Donovan Feenstra (University of the Cumberlands), ending his day.  Feenstra finished pitching three and a third innings stringing out six hits and five earned runs in his no-decision outing.

The Mankato bullpen was able to step in and continue their hot play as Sam Clay (Georgia Tech) entered the game to get the MoonDogs out of the fourth-inning jam.  The left-hander from Buford, GA. did so and pitched three additional frames, finishing with only two hits allowed in three and two-thirds innings of work, picking up the win (2-1) in the process.

The MoonDogs were able plate two runs on two hits in each of the fifth and sixth innings, extending their lead to 14-6 in the process, before adding one more in the eighth.

Jesse Harbin (Arkansas-Little Rock) took care of the eighth inning for the MoonDogs, and in a surprise trip to the mound, infielder and All-Star slugger Chase Simpson tossed the ninth inning, retiring the Huskies in order to clinch the win for Mankato.

It was another impressive performance for the MoonDogs’ offense, as five different players notched at least two hits, and all but three players in the lineup crossed home at least one time.  Hibraim Cordova (University of the Cumberlands) finished batting 2-for-3 with an RBI and four runs scored.

Mankato’s two-game sweep of the Huskies gives them a 5-1 edge in the season series.  Duluth visits the Frank one more time on August 4 for the last two games of the regular season between the two squads.

The victory was Mankato’s fifth in their last six games, and brings them to 7-3 in the second half.  The MoonDogs are now in sole possession of second place in the Northwoods League North Division, a full game ahead of St. Cloud and Duluth and two-and-a-half games back of Waterloo. 

The MoonDogs close out their four-game homestand on Sunday night as the Alexandria Blue Anchors return for the first leg of their second home-and-home series in less than a week.  The two teams split on July 10 and 11, with the road team winning both contests.  Sunday night is also the Mini-Bat Giveaway presented by Buffalo Wild Wings.  The first 300 kids through the Franklin Rogers gates will receive their own mini-bat.

Great seats are available to all remaining home games, on sale at the MoonDogs office located at 1221 Caledonia Street in Mankato, as well as over the phone at 507-625-7047.  To stay up to date, Like the MoonDogs on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter (@MoonDogsBall), or visit the website at www.mankatomoondogs.com.