The Mankato MoonDogs continued to swing a hot bat and stymie the Honkers offense in an 8-3 victory in the series finale at Mayo Field.
The Rochester pitching staff combined to issue eight walks and hit four batters, leading to 12 total free passes.
The MoonDogs struck first in the ballgame as Tyler Sullivan and Logan Gray picked up two of the most painful RBI’s of their careers. Both Sullivan and Gray were hit by a pitch in consecutive at bats with the bases loaded and just one out in the inning. David Petrino and Patrick Massoni each had hits in the inning while Justin Fletcher reached on an error to initially load the bases for Gray.
The MoonDogs picked up three more runs in the top half of the fourth. Gray brought home the first run with an RBI groundout to third, scoring Justin Fletcher who reached on an error earlier in the inning. Derek Umphres then extended the MoonDogs lead with a two-run blast over the left-centerfield wall. Umphres first home run of the season gave Mankato a 5-0 lead heading into the home half of the fourth.
L.J. Brewster put the Honkers on the board with a line drive home run to tighten the MoonDogs lead to 5-1 after six innings of play.
Ridge Smith responded with a solo shot of his own in the top of the seventh. His third home run of the season gave the MoonDogs a 6-1 lead heading into the home half of the seventh.
Sullivan drew a leadoff walk to start the top half of the eighth inning and then stole second and was able to advance to third on a wild pitch. Umphres then roped a sacrifice fly to centerfield to extend the MoonDogs lead to 7-1.
Ryan Boldt brought the Honkers to within 7-2 with an RBI triple in the home half of the eighth. However, the MoonDogs answered with a run of their own extending the lead to 8-2 on a Sullivan RBI single.
The Honkers picked up an unearned run in the ninth, but it was too little too late and the MoonDogs picked up the 8-2 victory and the series sweep over the Honkers.
Brandon Stennis suffered the loss for the Honkers, allowing five runs, three of which were earned, on four hits. The southpaw struck out and walked three while hitting two batters.
Taylor Elman was terrific on the bump for the MoonDogs, tossing seven innings allowing just one run on five hits while striking out six. The right-hander improved to 1-0 on the season.