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Shepski Leads MoonDogs to Fifth Straight Victory

BISMARCK- N.D. The MoonDogs grabbed their fifth straight victory to get one step closer to securing a home playoff game by defeating the Bismarck Larks 7-6 on Thursday night at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark in front of 1,703 announced attendance. Right-fielder Jake Shepski (Notre Dame) went 5 for 5 with 3 runs batted in and had an assist on a throw to the plate which prevented the Larks from scoring to take the lead in the eighth inning. After a scoreless first, the MoonDogs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second, beginning with a one out single by Alvaro Rubalcaba (Cal. St. Northridge). Then, after Kyle Cuellar (UCLA) struck out, Jake Ortega (Cal. St. Bakersfield) drove in a run with a double and Daniel Amaral (UCLA) walked, putting runners on second and third. Shepski drove in two on the following at bat with a single.

 

The Larks were able to get to the MoonDogs relievers late in the game and got to within a run of the lead by scoring two in the bottom of the sixth, but the MoonDogs added insurance in the top of the seventh, getting a second double from Jake Ortega and an RBI single from Shepski bringing the score to 5-2. In the bottom of the seventh, Bismarck loaded the bases with no outs and score two runs on back to back wild pitches from Nick Belzer (Minnesota St.) and took the lead 6-5 later in the seventh on an RBI single by Wyatt Ulrich. 

 

In the eighth, Logan Busch (NDSU) led off with a single and Rubalcaba bunted him over to second. Kenton came into the game as a pinch runner and Kyle Cuellar (UCLA) pinch hit and drew a walk giving Jake Ortega a chance to reach on an error charged to the Larks shortstop Spencer Gillund, a one-hop line drive a step to his left. Crews scored from second on the play, tying the game at 6. Then in the ninth, Jake Shepski hit a lead off single, was bunted over to second by Valdez and was driven in by Ryan Kreidler (UCLA), giving the MoonDogs the lead by one at 7-6. 

 

Joey Gerber (winning pitcher) pitched a scoreless eighth and Naithan Dewsnap (Cal St. Bakersfield) faced four in the ninth and earned his 12th save, getting Scooter Bynum to strikeout swinging with a runner on first to end the game. The MoonDogs 22-11 (42-27 overall) will play the Bismarck Larks 12-21 (28-40) again tomorrow night at 7:35pm before travelling to Rochester to finish the regular season with a pair of games at Mayo Field against the Honkers.

 

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.