MANKATO — The Lunkers second-half woes continued Friday night as Brainerd was crushed 12-1 by the Mankato Moondogs after taking a brief 1-0 first inning lead at Franklin Rogers Park.
It was the third loss in a row for the last place Lunkers and second in as many nights to the Moondogs who were the first-half champions in the North Division, but entered Friday’s game in fifth place with a 10-10 record for the second half.
The Lunkers had pushed Mankato for the first half title, finishing 20-10, a game and a half back of the Moondogs. However, following Friday’s game, Brainerd is in the cellar of the North Division at 8-16.
Brainerd’s leadoff hitter Paul Toboni reached base on an error by second baseman Sam Lind in the top of the first and later scored on Steve Brault’s single to give Brainerd a short-lived 1-0 lead after one.
Then it was all Mankato as the Moondogs scored in every inning after that including a three-run blast by catcher Whitt Dorsey in the third. Dorsey doubled to left field in the sixth to drive in another run and finished 3-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
Matt Dunbar got the win for Mankato giving up just the one run on five hits over seven innings. Jordan Remer pitched hitless ball for the final two innings while striking out three.
Starter James Farris took the loss for the Lunkers giving up five runs and seven hits while striking out five in four innings.
Garrett Anderson took over in the fifth, but was quickly chased after surrendering three runs on three walks and a pair of wild pitches while managing to retire just one batter. Tyler Sparger and Shea Lukes finished the game in relief.
Brault was the only player for Brainerd with multiple hits finishing 2-4 with the lone RBI.
The Lunkers return home to Mills Field for games against Thunder Bay at 6:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday.
Brainerd 100 000 000 — 1 5 1
Mankato 031 132 11x — 12 15 2
Brainerd: James Farris, Garrett Anderson (5), Tyler Sparger (5), Shea Lukes (8) and Wade Wass
Mankato: Matt Dunbar, Jordan Remer (8) and Whitt Dorsey
W: Dunbar. L: Farris.
2B: Chris Ross (M), Joe Loftus (M), Dorsey (M)
3B: Loftus (M)
HR: Dorsey (M)
SB: Steve Brault (B), James Roberts (M)
SF: Sam Lind (M)
RBIs: Brd-Brault, Man-Shaun Cooper, Lind, Roberts, Dorsey 4
DP: Brd 1, Man 3
LOB: Brd 8, Man 6
Second half: Brd 8-16
Overall: Brd 28-26
Next: Thunder Bay vs. Brainerd, Mills Field, 6:05 p.m. Saturday; Thunder Bay vs. Brainerd, Mills Field, 1:05 p.m. Sunday.