The Free Press, Mankato, MN


June 11, 2013

MoonDogs defeat Stingers 9-4 with early scoring binge



After four innings, the MoonDogs had out-hit the Stingers 12-0, and finished with 19 hits in eight innings. Catcher Kendall Patrick was the only Mankato starter rendered hitless.

Willmar spoiled Giannini's shutout and no-hit bid in the fifth with four hits, leading to two runs. Giannini was pulled after the inning for Trey Higgenbotham, who hit two batters and walked another before he was relieved with the bases loaded and no outs by lefty Mike Nowak.

Nowak righted the ship, allowing a lone run and leaving the bases loaded after striking out Brian Olson. The MoonDogs had a chance to further pad the lead in the sixth, but Rosthenhausler flew out to center with the bases loaded.

"(Nowak) came up big for us," Orchard said. "If they get a bloop there and get a couple more runs, or hit a grand slam, obviously that would change the whole game...we got some really solid pitching tonight."

The nine-run lead proved necessary when Willmar further cut into the deficit with two outs in the eighth when Logan Moon cracked a triple to left-center, scoring Bottomley and putting the score at 9-4. Moon was stranded at third after Nowak retired Jake Kronsky for his third strikeout of the inning.

Jesse Harbin pitching a scoreless ninth for the MoonDogs, and notched the team's 13th strikeout of the game.

"We're starting to play some good baseball," Orchard said. "But we know this is a day-to-day game. You're only as good as your next day's starter."

Mankato hosts Willmar (8-5) again tonight at Franklin Rogers Park.


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