GREEN BAY, WIS. – The Mankato MoonDogs were able to use a strong start from pitcher Jon Perrin (Oklahoma St.) and a monster day at the plate from outfielder Jonathan Rodriguez (Oklahoma City) to secure a 7-1 victory and a series sweep over the Green Bay Bullfrogs on Thursday night at Johannes Stadium. The MoonDogs finished the first portion of their interleague schedule in Wisconsin with a 3-1 record.
Perrin has now won each of his three last starts and is victorious in four of his last five, after lasting seven and a third innings on Thursday giving up only one earned run and three walks while striking out six Bullfrogs. The Olathe, Kansas native kept Green Bay off the board until an eighth-inning single by Tripp Martin (Samford) brought home Robert Youngdahl (Notre Dame), after the MoonDogs had already established a 7-0 lead. The Bullfrogs were not able to register a base hit on Perrin until a Jimmy Coady (UW-Stevens Point) single in the fifth inning.
Leading the MoonDogs’ offense was Rodriguez, who hit his way to a 4-for-5 night with a pair of runs and a pair of RBIs. The All-Star from Anaheim, Calif. helped lay the foundation for Mankato’s big lead in the third when he brought home John Michael Twichell (UT-Arlington) with the first of his two doubles on the night in. The run was part of a three-run third frame that gave Mankato an early lead that they would not relinquish.
Mankato put another three runs on the board in the fifth inning after notching four hits including RBI doubles from Rodriguez and Josh Fuentes (Saddleback).
Newcomer Ben Podobinski (University of St. Thomas) helped finish the MoonDogs scoring an inning later, after smoking a single to right field in his first Northwoods League at-bat. The sophomore from Roseville, Minn. crossed home thanks to a Chase Simpson (Wichita St.) single and a Bullfrogs fielding error.
The win brings Mankato (16-9) within three games of North Division-leading Waterloo, after the Bucks fell to Battle Creek on Thursday. However there was no change in the overall standings, as Duluth, Willmar, and St. Cloud all won their interleague matchups as well. The MoonDogs remain two games back of Duluth and one-and-a-half back of Willmar in the race for next-best record in the North as the teams prepare to re-enter divisional play on Friday.
With only ten games remaining on the schedule, the MoonDogs are set to open up an eight-game home stand, their longest of 2013, with two games against the Thunder Bay Border Cats. Friday night is Baseball Card Giveaway Night at the Frank, with the first 500 kids receiving a free set of MoonDogs baseball cards. First pitch is at 705 p.m.
To make sure you dont miss any of the action, get your tickets today by visiting the MoonDogs office at 1221 Caledonia Street in Mankato, or over the phone at 507-625-7047. For more information and up-to-date news, stats and more visit our website at www.mankatomoondogs.com, Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter (@MoonDogsBall).