Mankato West starts the week with a unique distinction from other teams in the Big 9 Conference. The Scarlets are the last unbeaten club in the league, but they have yet to face crosstown rival Mankato East this season. That changes Friday.
The No. 5-3A Scarlets have outscored their opponents 59-6 so far this spring. Their most recent outburst came in a 9-0 defeat of New Ulm last Friday.
While the Mankato West (6-0, 3-0) hitters have had no problem clobbering the ball of late, it’s the team’s pitching that really stands out. Zander Dittbenner, Louis Magers and Tanner Shumski make a formidable rotation. Shumski got the start against New Ulm, throwing six shutout innings.
Mankato East (4-2, 4-2) has won three of its last four games, a stretch that includes a 1-0 shutout of Northfield on April 22. In the victory, the No. 6-3A Cougars got seven innings of four-hit baseball from pitchers Tanner Borchardt and Matthew Werk. Borchardt recorded the win, four strikeouts, one walk and gave up one hit in four innings.