The Mankato MoonDogs must have been really upset after they lost their second straight game to Alexandria a week ago.
They haven’t lost since.
The MoonDogs continued their hot streak behind the stellar pitching of Wayland Moore as they blew out the Duluth Huskies 12-4 in a Northwoods League game Tuesday night at Mankato’s Franklin Rogers Park.
Moore tossed six innings of two-hit baseball, allowing only one run and walking three while striking out eight Duluth batters.
It was Moore’s first win of the season and the MoonDogs’ sixth straight victory.
“Mainly my off-speed pitch and changeup were working for me tonight,” Moore said. “I had a lot of swings and misses.
Mankato first got on the board in the second with the help of its speed and some Husky wildness.
Cody Ferrell coaxed a one-out walk from Duluth starting pitcher Evan Geist. He then proceeded to steal second base and then third base. Drew Stankiewicz delivered a perfect squeeze play, scoring Ferrell when Geist’s throw home was late. Trever Allen later scored after a wild pitch making it 2-0 MoonDogs after two innings.
Moore continued to be magnificent on the mound not allowing a hit until James Ramsey’s one-out triple to deep right center in the fourth. Ramsey was stranded on third as Moore struck out the last two batters including Max Duval looking to end the frame. Moore later struck out the side in the next inning.
The MoonDogs put the game away in the bottom of the fifth when Duluth gift-wrapped three runs to Mankato. Nick Ratajczak scored following a throwing error by Huskies’ second baseman Conor Szczerba.
Chris Munoz then delivered a generous two-RBI double, scoring Blair Moore and Chad Christensen. Munoz hit a pop fly to short left field that looked as if it was going to be caught by shortstop Austin Dubberly, but he pulled away at the last instant thinking the left fielder Luke Campbell would catch it. The ball dropped in safely instead scoring the two runners and giving Mankato a 6-0 lead.
Christensen was the hitting star for Mankato, going 3 for 3 with a double, walking twice, and scoring three times. Munoz went 2 for 4 including that two-RBI double. Ferrell also went 2 for 4 with a two-run double of his own in the sixth inning.
Moore says it’s a solid team effort that’s contributing to the win streak.
“It’s a little bit of everything right now,” he said. “We’re pitching the ball really well, hitting it really well, and the defense is playing really well behind me.”
The MoonDogs move to 16-5 and maintain their first place standing in the Northwoods League’s North Division. Mankato entertains Duluth again Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.