Playing 31 innings in three previous games may have caught up with the Brainerd Mighty Gulls in the completion of a suspended game against the Mankato Moon Dogs Tuesday.
After playing a 14-inning doubleheader Sunday and 17 innings Monday, the Mighty Gulls appeared sluggish in a 7-0 defeat in a suspended game that was completed at Mills Field.
"Fatigue and maybe it was because it was different than our normal routine, no infield, no pregame," Mighty Gulls third baseman Tyson Hanish said of the suspended game. "I thought we had a little more bounce in the second game, especially to start out with."
Brainerd regrouped in the regularly scheduled second game to hold off the Moon Dogs 3-2 in a quick seven-inning contest.
The victory preserved Brainerd's 3-game lead over the Moon Dogs in the race for the North Division second-half championship with seven games left in the regular season.
"Every game matters, which is good," Brainerd head coach Kyle Crookes said. "We need to understand we can't flip on a light switch, flip it off and flip it on again, so finishing strong matters."
Mankato 7, Brainerd 0
The contest was suspended June 19 because of rain with Mankato leading 2-0 with two out in the fifth.
That score remained until Mankato erupted for five runs with two out in the eighth.
Mighty Gulls pitcher Jason Schlangen retired the first nine batters he faced. He threw three wild pitches in the eighth, letting in two runs. Mankato's Justin Hart stroked an RBI single and Jeremiah Piepkorn delivered a 2-run single.
Brainerd's John Purdom and Mankato's Tom Everidge were both 3-for-4.
Mankato's Chad Fillinger pitched five innings for the win. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out one.
Completion of June 19 suspended game
Mankato 101 000 050 -- 7 13 0
Brainerd 000 000 000 -- 0 6 0
Mankato-Jason Conrad, Chad Fillinger (5) and Jon Marshall. Brd-Trevor Berryhill, Abe Morris (2), Zach Sanchez (4), Brian Pemble (5), Jason Schlangen (5), Ronnie Seets (8) and Ben Vannatter. W-Fillinger. L- Berryhill.
2B-Tom Everidge (M), John Purdom (B). 3B-Andrew Wishy (M). Sac-Justin Hart (M), Donnell Boyer (M), Vannatter. RBI-Hart, Jeremiah Piepkorn (M) 2, Wishy, Everidge. LOB-M 11, B 5. DP-M 1.
Brainerd 3, Mankato 2
The Mighty Gulls built a 3-1 lead as Steven Adams scored in the first on a throwing error and in the third on a fielding error.
Hanish drove in the Mighty Gulls' final run with a perfectly placed suicide squeeze bunt that he beat out for a hit.
"I try to bunt, pretty much for a hit, every time," Hanish said. "It just worked that the runner scored and I got a hit on it."
Mankato threatened to tie in the top of the seventh. With one out, Andrew Wishy singled and Crookes brought in closer Dustin Braud. Ben Pattee singled over the glove of shortstop Ryan McCarthy to put Wishy at second. Wishy went to third on a fielder's choice and scored on Jeremiah Piepkorn's single.
With runners at first and second, Braud got Jim Wallace to ground out to McCarthy to end the contest.
Damon White went 6 1/3 innings and evened his record at 3-3 for Brainerd. He gave up eight hits and two earned runs. White walked one and struck out seven.
"He's been kind of a hard-luck guy," Crookes said of White. "We have taken him out in situations like what happened (Tuesday). Unfortunately, he's gotten a no-decision or a loss. We haven't really picked him up. (Tuesday) was indicative of what Damon has done. He's always given us six strong innings.
"He's learning how to be a starter. We brought him out of the bullpen this summer. He's getting his legs under him at sixth- and seventh-inning time."
Mankato 100 000 1 -- 2 10 2
Brainerd 102 000 x -- 3 5 1
Mankato-Kevin Crowley, Matt Garland (6) and Roger Cook. Brd-Damon White, Dustin Braud (7) and John Purdom. W-White (3-3). L-Crowley (2-7). Sv-Braud (11).
2B-Tom Everidge (M), Purdom. Sac-Chandler Rose (M), Ben Pattee (M), Tyson Hanish (B), Brandon Freeborn (B). RBI-Pattee, Piepkorn, Hanish. LOB-M 11, B 4. DP-M 1.
Time-2:30. Attendance-738. Record-B 17-9. Next game-Alexandria vs. Brainerd, 7:05 p.m., today Mills Field.
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