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MoonDogs Walk Off in Tenth, Clinch Playoff Berth

Entering Monday’s game, the Mankato MoonDogs knew they had a chance to clinch a playoff spot if they won and the Waterloo Bucks lost.  After the Bucks fell to the Willmar Stingers, the MoonDogs punched their ticket to the postseason, coming back to defeat the Duluth Huskies in ten innings, 5-4.

Dylan Jones got the start for the MoonDogs, and was very efficient through the first three innings, holding the Huskies hitless and keeping them off the board.  He ran into a little bit of trouble in the fourth, however, and was pulled in favor of Matt Young with the bases loaded and nobody out.  Huskies catcher Luke Roskam welcomed Young with a grand slam, putting his team up 4-0.

The MoonDogs managed to chip away at the Huskies’ lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, though, starting with a wild pitch that scored CJ Schaeffer.  One batter later, Ethan Valdez hit his third home run in four days to cut the deficit to 4-3.

As it turned out, the grand slam in the fourth inning was the last of the scoring for the Huskies.  Young pitched three more innings, allowing only two additional hits. 

The MoonDogs were still down by a run heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, and were in need of a rally.  Logan Busch started things off with a one-out single, which brought Jake Shepski to the plate.  Shepski lined what would probably have been a single into right field, but the ball a surprising hop and bounced past Huskies right fielder Andrew Robinson, giving Shepski a triple and tying the game at four.

Austin Bollinger continued the trend of solid relief pitching for the MoonDogs, holding the Huskies without a hit in three innings of work, including the tenth inning, when neither team had managed to break the tie.

The bottom of the tenth started well for the MoonDogs.  Daniel Amaral and Valdez both walked to start the inning, and moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Busch.  After an intentional walk to Shepski, Kyle Cuellar followed with a four-pitch walk of his own to force in the winning run.

Busch led the MoonDogs with two hits, while Valdez added two RBIs.  The MoonDogs improve to 20-11 in the second half with the win, still one game behind the Eau Claire Express.  After a day off on Tuesday, they will play the Huskies again on Wednesday, starting at 7:05.

 

 

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 180 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 website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.