MANKATO - A Xavier Scruggs' three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning broke a 2-2 tie and led the Brainerd Blue Thunder to a 5-2 Northwoods League baseball victory over the Mankato Moondogs Wednesday afternoon.
In front of 1,159 people, Scruggs sent a Tom Porter pitch over the left center field wall, driving in Andy Dirks and Ryan Royster.
Brainerd's Bryan Westphal pitched the bottom of the ninth for his second save of the season. He benefited from one of three Blue Thunder double plays.
Scruggs finished 1-for-5 with four RBIs. His sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth tied the game 2-2.
Xavier Scruggs had four RBIs
Dirks was 2-5 with two runs and a double and Patrick Rose, who scored Brainerd's first run, was 2-5. Adam Symons was 2-5 with an RBI for Brainerd, which improves to 7-13 overall.
Tyler Brandon pitched two innings of relief, giving up two hits, while striking out one for the win.
Brainerd's starting pitcher Kris Jiggitts allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits and seven walks. He struck out four.
Brainerd 000 110 003 - 5 8 2
Mankato 001 100 000 - 2 4 2
Brainerd: Kris Jiggitts, Tyler Brandon (7), Bryan Westphal (9) and Andrew Pascoe. Mankato: G Claypool, Josh Castanza (6), Tom Porter (7) and Jeff DeSmidt. W: Brandon (1-2). L: Tom Porter (0-1). Sv: Westphal (2).
2B: Brd-Andy Dirks, Adam Symons. HR: Brd-Xavier Scruggs. SB: Brd-Ryan Royster 2, Patrick Rose. Sac: Brd-Royster; Tyler Metcalf, Andrew Pascoe; Man-Sean Nicol. RBI: Brd-Scruggs 4, Symons 1; Man-CJ Belanger, Jason Christian. LOB: Brd 11, Man 10. DP: Brd 3. Time: 3:12. Attendance: 1,159
Overall: Brd 7-13, Man 8-12. Next: Brainerd at Mankato 1:05 p.m. Wednesday.
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