Written By: Tyler Kuch
Photo By: Kenzie Schmidt
A day after being on the wrong side of a lopsided score, the Mankato MoonDogs turned the tables on the Bismarck Larks, splitting the two-game series with an 11-5 victory at ISG Field. This marked the first victory of the season for the Dogs where they didn’t score first.
The two teams traded a couple of scoreless innings before the Larks tagged MoonDogs starter Kolby Kiser with a pair of unearned runs.
The deficit was short-lived, however, as the Dogs got the bats going in the bottom of the fourth inning. A single and a couple of walks led to a bases loaded fielder’s choice for Brendan Hord for the first run for the home team. After a Nolan Tichy RBI double, catcher Hunter Faildo drove in two more with another single. By the time the Larks stopped the bleeding, the MoonDogs led 4-2 heading into the fifth inning.
After his unlucky third inning, Kiser kept the Larks off the board before giving way to Mitch Casperson with two outs in the fifth, who kept the door closed through the eighth inning.
But the MoonDogs were just getting started at the plate. Hord drove in two with a single in the fifth, and Kip Fougerousse smashed a solo home run in the seventh to extend the lead to 7-2. The string of unanswered runs kept going in the eighth when leadoff hitter Mikey Gottschalk dropped a liner in front of a diving Jackson Beaman in center field, and circled the bases for an inside-the park home run, his first in his three-year MoonDog career. A Larks error gave the Dogs one more run, and heading into the ninth inning, they led 11-2.
The Larks showed signs of life in the ninth, scoring three runs off MoonDogs pitcher Caleb Guisewite, but it was too little, too late. The 11-5 win meant that the MoonDogs would split their fifth two-game series of the season to pull their record even at 5-5. The Dogs will head to Willmar on Thursday for the start of a home-and-home series with the Stingers. First pitch is at 7:05.