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Blue Anchors drop season opener to Mankato

Despite picking up 12 hits, the Alexandria Blue Anchors were unable to drive home any of their base runners Tuesday in a 3-0 loss to Mankato in the season opener at Knute Nelson Ballpark.

Mankato scored a run in each of the first three innings to take an early 3-0 lead. It took Alexandria two innings to figure out MoonDogs starting pitcher Trevor Lubking, but after that they were able to get runners on base.

Manager Al Newman said he would have liked to see a big hit with runners on base as the Alexandria pitching staff kept things close.

“We got a pretty good amount of hits, we just didn’t get the big hit to bust it open,” Newman said. “I was really happy with our pitching, all three guys threw the ball very well and commanded the strike zone.”

Four of the Blue Anchors had multiple hits in the game, including Alexandria native Ben Allen. He went 2-for-4 as the team’s number nine hitter.

“I was a little nervous at first, but once I stepped in the batter’s box, it’s just baseball,” Allen said.

Ryan Busch had three hits for the Blue Anchors, Jason Schaul had two and Ricky Sanchez picked up two hits including a double. Sanchez, a native of Miami, Florida, said he was excited to get out on the field in the Northwoods League.

“It felt really good to be out in front of the home crowd,” Sanchez said. “We had a pretty good crowd, and I am excited for the rest of the season.”

Alexandria starting pitcher Zach Muckenhirn was handed the loss after giving up three runs in three innings. Andrew Thome pitched four scoreless innings of relief, and Ryan Froom also went two innings without allowing a run.

Lubking earned the win for Mankato after going six shutout innings.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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