Thunder Bay, ON – Connor O’Brien allowed just three hits in six innings of shutout ball, but the Border Cats would win in the bottom of the ninth with a walk off single to sweep the MoonDogs at Port Arthur Stadium on Thursday night by a score of 2-1.
Dan Rizzie had gone 0-for-3 going into his at bat in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Mankato MoonDogs (0-2, 18-18). With the bases loaded and two strikes with one out, Rizzie would hammer a ball off the wall in right field, bringing Carter McEachern and Alan Baldwin around to score to clinch the game for the Thunder Bay Border Cats (2-0, 17-18).
Austin Warner (1-2) came into the game in his first relief appearance for the MoonDogs, and had shut down Thunder Bay up until the ninth. Warner would finish the night with a line of 2 1/3 innings pitched, allowing two runs on two hits while walking two and striking out three.
Connor O’Brien would shine in his first start for the MoonDogs, throwing six innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits and striking out three. He would end up getting a no decision on the outing.
Mankato’s lone run would be scored on a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning off the bat of Paul Panaccione, bringing in David Metzgar from third base and giving Mankato the lead until the bottom of the ninth.
The MoonDogs will head to Rochester to face off with the Honkers for one game on Friday before getting an off day on Saturday. First pitch will be at 7:05 and can be heard on The Fan Mankato.
“The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK)."