Maris Powers MoonDogs in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY- Ontario. Mankato MoonDogs shortstop, Peter Maris, couldn’t have picked a better time for his first home run of the season. He hit not one, but two home runs, while driving in five runs to lead the MoonDogs to an 11-4 comeback victory over the Thunder Bay Border Cats on Thursday evening at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, ON.

The MoonDogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Ridge Smith and Peter Maris, followed by an RBI single off the bat of Tyler Sullivan.

However, the Border Cats came right back, scoring four runs in the home half to capture the 4-3 lead after five. Brett Synek drew a leadoff walk and later made the trot around the bases when Maris left the yard for the first time over the left field wall, giving the MoonDogs a 5-4 advantage heading into the home half of the sixth.

The MoonDogs offense added two more runs in the top of the eighth on a Maris RBI single through the left side and Synek later scored on a wild pitch.

However, the MoonDogs weren’t done there as they added four more runs, essentially putting the game out of reach in the top of the ninth on a two-run blast by Maris and Synek’s two-RBI double to left-center.

Jake Westerhouse was tremendous on the bump in relief for the MoonDogs. The right-hander went 4 2/3 innings and allowed just one hit while striking out four and walking just one en route to the victory. Mitchell Traver tossed four scoreless innings to start the game, but allowed four runs on two hits in the home half of the fifth prior to being replaced by Westerhouse.

Ryan Powers suffered the loss, despite tossing seven innings and allowing just three earned runs while striking out five.

With the win the MoonDogs improved 9-7 in the second half and remain 1.5 games behind division-leading Eau Claire. Thunder Bay fell to 3-11 with Thursday’s loss.

The MoonDogs conclude their series with the Border Cats at Port Arthur Stadium on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. ET.