With Files from Lance Jones/Thunder Bay Border Cats
THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Thunder Bay Border Cats are still looking for their first win of the season. On Sunday the Cat’s dug a deep hole falling behind by four runs. The Border Cats out hit the MoonDogs, but were not able to capitalize on that advantage in runs crossing home plate.
The first inning was hairy for Austin Breazeale (GateWay CC), The Border Cats starter struggled in the first and after loading the bases with two hit batsmen and a walk, he would walk home the first run of the game. Crews’ double followed that up and a Ben Rowdon (Gardner-Webb) fielder’s choice would have the visitors out front 4-0.
The Border Cats fought back to make the game closer. The Cats outhit the Dogs 14-7 but lost the game 11-8 before a hardcore crowd of 574 fans.
Like on Saturday night, the Border Cats offence outpaced the MoonDogs 14 hits to seven.
Karsten Vasquez (Sacramento City Coll.) had a three hit night with two-RBI’s. Tyson Fisher (Dixie St.), Anthony Galati (Sacramento City Coll.) and Thomas Grilli (Panola Coll.) all had two-hit games. Galati picked up his first two RBI’s and his first double. Grilli managed to get aboard in four of his five plate appearences and stole his first base as he scored twice in the game.
The Border Cats are demonstrating a level of what might be untapped depth with their solid hitting. This reporter feels that once the Cats find their footing this is going to be a team to watch.
Alex Dorethy (Western Illinois) had a great day at the plate for Mankato. He went 3-for-5 and whacked two doubles. He also closed the game pitching for the save. Mason Crews (Kansas St.) was the hero as his two-run home run in the 7th inning was the difference in the ball game. Crews notched two more RBI’s on a double in the first inning.
Breazeale seemed to have settled into a rhythm putting nine straight MoonDogs.
Then the fourth inning hit. Dorethy led off with a double on the first pitch of the inning. The next pitch was grounded back to Breazeale and an attempt to catch Dorethy between 2nd and 3rd base went awry with Dorethy getting back safely into second. Peter Brookshaw (North Dakota St.) walked and Damon Maynard (Olney Central CC) would hit a ground ball to score one and that would be the end of the line for Breazeale. The MoonDog offense was not done though has Taylor Jackson and Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) would pick up RBI’s in back-to-back at bats and put the MoonDogs up 8-2.
Thunder Bay would respond in the bottom half of the fourth off of Mankato starter Jacob Nagel (Bellarmine). Alexander Hernandez (Nova Southeastern) pumped a triple off the fence in right centre with one-out. Grilli would walk. Back-to-back one-run singles from Nate Soriano (Houston Baptist) and Vasquez would have the Cats back in business and cut the deficit in half once again.
The difference in the game though would come in the top of the seventh as Crews crushed a two run home run ball off the top of the scoreboard in left to put the Dogs up 10-4.
Thunder Bay would draw closer on RBI doubles from Galati and Jakob Newton (Florida Tech) in the seventh. After Vasquez loaded singled home a run and then Ryne Edmondson (Houston Baptist) walked, the Border Cats had the bases loaded in the eighth and couldn’t capitalize for more than a run out of it. With it 10-8, Mankato would tack on an insurance run to round out the scoring.
JNagel (1-0) took the win in his first start of the season. He struck out four over six innings. Dorethy would strike out two in the ninth for his second save in as many nights against the Border Cats. Breazeale (0-1) took the loss for the Cats.
The Border Cats look for their first win of the season as they host the Rochester Honkers in game one of a four game series starting Monday night.
It is All-you-can-eat $32 night at the ball park tonight which includes your party deck ticket. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.