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Belzer Flirts with History, MoonDogs Top Rox

After a four-day road trip, the Mankato MoonDogs were eager to come back home and play in front of their own fans.  The home crowd was given a show, as the MoonDogs made quick work of the St. Cloud Rox, winning 5-0.

As it has many times for the MoonDogs, the scoring got started early.  Right away in the first inning, Daniel Amaral singled and Kyle Cuellar walked off Rox starter Aaron Rozek.  On the very next pitch, Toby Hanson smacked a home run over the scoreboard in right field to give the MoonDogs a 3-0 lead before recording an out.

As it turned out, that would be plenty of run support for MoonDogs starting pitcher Nick Belzer.  The MSU-Mankato product retired the first 14 batters he faced, before a walk in the fifth inning gave the Rox their first baserunner.

Belzer continued his no-hit bid into the sixth inning, setting down the first two Rox hitters.  He finally surrendered a hit when Cameron Eden broke away from baseball tradition and bunted himself on base, upsetting many MoonDogs fans in the process.  But Belzer got himself out of the inning one batter later, and the shutout was still intact.

On the other side, Rozek had settled down on the mound after his three-run first inning.  Between the second and sixth innings, he managed to keep the MoonDogs at bay, not allowing another run on three hits.  In the seventh inning, however, the MoonDogs bats came alive.  Four singles led to two more runs, giving the home team a 5-0 lead, and forcing Rozek from the game.

Belzer continued his dominance through the eighth inning, keeping the Rox scoreless on only two hits, while striking out nine.  Joey Gerber entered the game in the ninth inning to complete the shutout, only allowing a baserunner on a two-out walk.

The MoonDogs finished with eleven hits on the evening, including three from Hanson, who drove in four runs as well.  Zac Wiley drove in the other MoonDogs run while finishing with two hits, and Jake Ortega added two of his own, including a triple.  Ortega’s two stolen bases led the running attack for the MoonDogs, who finished with five as a team.

With the victory, the MoonDogs improve to 5-3 in the second half, and will stay home to play the La Crosse Loggers tomorrow at 7:05.

 

 

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The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit [www.mankatomoondogs.com]or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.

 

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The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC).

All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.