The MoonDogs looked as if a comeback was possible in the ninth after gaining a run to cut the lead to three. It came down to two on, two out with Chase Simpson, the team leader in home runs, at the plate. But Blue Anchor reliever Scott Sanderson forceed a groundout from Simpson to end the game.
The MoonDogs totaled nine hits, but could not find the big one to earn the sweep over the Blue Anchors, leaving 11 runners on base.
“We just could not get the last hit. We had guys on base almost every inning but we just could not finish it off,” Mack said. “We hit the ball hard every single time, every at bat but it just didn’t fall for us today.”
Orchard agreed: “We gave away some at bats in the beginning. Then we had a big inning (in the fifth) with first and second nobody out, but ended up strikeout, fly out and strikeout which was really a swing inning.”
Six MoonDogs tallied hits in the loss, including Mack and Zehner, who each doubled and brought in Mankato’s two runs.
The MoonDogs now get set to host the Duluth Huskies today and Saturday night as both teams are in the top half of the North Division of the Northwoods League. The Huskies leapfrogged the MoonDogs in the standings column with a win Thursday night and are continuing their respectable play from the first half.
“They’re playing well too so it will be a good two-game series at home,” Orchard said. “We’ve played okay on the road but now it’s time to play a little better at home.”