With files from Lance Jones (Thunder Bay Border Cats)
THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Thunder Bay Border Cats lost what can only be called a heartbreaker last night at the Port Arthur Stadium
The Cats showed real promise and demonstrated that there is depth in the team’s character as they rallied from a two run second inning against the Mankato Moondogs.
In what started as an error battle, the Border Cats backed by the early pitching of M Anderson battled back with three runs in the Cat’s side of the inning. The Cats then started to mount up a lead scoring one run in the third, and three runs in the 4th inning.
The Thunder Bay Border Cats (0-5) loaded the bases in the ninth and had the winning run in scoring position but ended up on the wrong side of an 8-7 nail biter against the Mankato Moondogs (1-4).
Tyson Fisher (Dixie St.) and Jakob Newton (Florida Tech) both had monster three hit nights in the cause for the Border Cats.
Thunder Bay’s offense was clicking with 13 hits in the contest but left 12 men on base. Fisher had two doubles and two RBI’s at the plate. Newton picked up an RBI and scored two runs. Karsten Vasquez (Sacramento City Coll.) picked up his first two RBI’s of the season. Ryne Edmondson (Houston Baptist) worked in a multi-hit game notching his third RBI of the season.
Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) and Tanner Craig (Evansville) had half of the eight hits and eight runs scored for the visitors with each picking up two hits and two runs.
A couple of errors in the second inning spotted Mankato the lead. With two aboard and one out, Sky-lar Culver (Arkansas St.) and Peter Brookshaw (North Dakota St.) were lucky as a couple or routine plays in back-to-back at bats for Fisher and Vasquez were botched and allowed the Moondogs a 2-0 lead.
Fisher and Vasquez though would atone for those mistakes in the bottom half. After Anthony Galati (Sacramento City Coll.) got on with a lead-off walk, Fisher hammered a double off of the fence in left to cut the deficit to one. Newton advanced Fisher with a single and a pass ball would bring Newton to second. Vasquez would smoke a two-RBI single into right field to give the Cats a 3-2 lead.
Another Newton single in the third followed by an Alexander Hernandez (Nova Southeastern) double would extend the Thunder Bay lead to 4-2.
It was Mankato’s turn to bobble the ball in the fourth. Three errors in the inning would lead to three runs for the Cats in the inning. Fisher and Newton picking up RBI’s on back-to-back base hits. With a 7-2 lead, Thunder Bay was in control.
The Moondogs woke up in the seventh inning. A couple of walks, an error and a base-hit from Casagrande had Mankato in business. Craig would pick up his second RBI of the season on a single to count Casagrande. Culver would go shopping at the gap in left-centre to score two more and Mankato was trailing only 7-6.
The comeback would be complete after Mankato loaded the bases in the eighth. James Gargano’s (Butler) infield single tied the game as Taylor Jackson (Kirkwood CC) scored. Mason Crews (Kansas St.) watched a 3-1 pitch miss for a bases loaded walk and the game winning run would cross the plate.
The Border Cats would not go away quietly in the ninth. Fisher nailed another double to the exact same spot he had in the second inning. Newton would be plunked. With two aboard Vasquez walked to load the bases, but Alex Dorethy (Western Illinois) would strike out Nate Soriano (Houston Baptist) to end the game.
Trevor Smisek (Saint Leo) (1-0) took his first win of the season, striking out three of the five batters he faced over one and one-third innings worked. Dorethy struck out three over two innings for the save.
Joey Hecht (Dayton St. Coll.) (0-1) took the loss for the Cats. Mark Anderson (Lafayette Coll.) struck out four over three innings of work in the start for Thunder Bay.
The six game home-stand continues as the Cats and Dogs are set to square off on Sunday afternoon with first pitch set for 1:35pm. It is Family Day Sunday where you can get 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 popcorn and 4 pop for $44.
Saturday’s game wrapped up with a fantastic fireworks display by Dreamcatcher Fireworks.
The Thunder Bay Border Cats have made going to the Port Arthur Stadium for a baseball game a really fun family event. With the kids section including a couple of inflatable games that are a real hit with the kids.