DULUTH — Newly-arrived Julian Esquibel made his first start in a Mankato MoonDogs uniform a memorable one on Monday as he pitched a five-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory over the Duluth Huskies.
The 'Dogs went on to sweep the doubleheader with a 3-2 win the nightcap.
In the opening seven-inning game, Esquibel struck out five and allowed two walks.
The Mankato MoonDogs came out swinging, scoring four runs in the first inning to jump ahead of the Duluth Huskies early.
Ryan Tuntland racked up two RBIs on two hits for the Mankato MoonDogs. He doubled in the first inning and singled in the third. MattJones and Krysthian Leal also drove in runs for Mankato.
Burke Seifrit (0-1) was the game's losing pitcher. He lasted just one inning, walked two, struck out one, and allowed five runs.
Aaron Hernandez was 2 for 3 to lead Duluth in the opener.
In Game 2, Leal smacked a one-out triple in the top of the seventh and then scored on Hibraim Cordova's single to break a 2-2 tie. Reliever Jess Amedee pitched perfect bottom half of the inning to make the 3-2 lead stand up.
Timothy Arakawa, Cordova and Kendall Patrick each had RBIs for the winners. Bryan Bonnell started and worked the first six innings for Mankato, allowing two earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts.
Jesse Harbin pitched two-thirds inning of relief to get the win. He allowed one hit and fanned one. Amedee earned the save.
The Huskies were led by Keith Curcio and Alex Wojciechowski who both went 2 for 3. Wojciechowski and Trey Vavra each had RBIs.
Chris Cervantes took the loss in relief, allowing just one hit in the final two-thirds of an inning.
The loss leaves both teams with identical 7-6 Northwoods League records.
The Huskies host Alexandria in a 6:35 p.m. game today at Wade Stadium. Mankato returns home to host Willmar at 7:05 p.m. tonight at Franklin Rogers Park.