MoonDogs stifle Stingers
MANKATO — The Willmar Stingers were leading the Northwoods League in runs scored going into their game against the Mankato MoonDogs on Sunday at Franklin Rogers Park.
That didn’t faze Mankato starter Cameron Giannini, who struck out nine in a masterful two-hit performance over eight innings to beat the Stingers 2-1.
With the temperature in Mankato in the low 80s, Giannini told AM 1230 KYSM in Mankato that he loves throwing in warm weather.
“It helps me stay loose,” he said. “My arm felt good tonight.”
Giannini threw 110 pitches and finished the eighth striking out Stingers’ No. 3 hitter Marc Flores, who represented the tying run.
“I knew (Flores) was a power hitter and I didn’t want to let him tie the game up, so I knew I really had to hit some spots,” Giannini said.
Willmar nearly did tie in the ninth when Max Kuhn doubled to score Michael Suchy, who had reached on a hit-by-pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch by MoonDogs’ closer Jess Amedee.
Kuhn, who had two of the Stingers’ three hits, went to third on a Zack Tillery groundout but was stranded when Amedee retired Danny Brennan and Kyle Perry to end the game.
Max Homick started and took the loss for Willmar, allowing two runs over five innings, including a solo home run to Mankato right fielder Quinnton Mack, the son of former Minnesota Twins’ outfielder Shane Mack.
Willmar fell to 17-9 in the Northwoods League North Division and are 1.5 games behind the first-place Waterloo Bucks. The Stingers have a rare day off today and will play 7 p.m. Tuesday at Alexandria.