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Six Home Runs Not Enough to Top Mankato

Mankato, Minn. – The La Crosse offense cracks out a record six home runs but still falls to the Mankato MoonDogs 13-9 in Franklin Rogers Park.

Both starting pitchers, Andrew Perez (South Florida) for La Crosse and Tyler Lesley for Mankato, eased through each other’s’ lineups in the first three innings. La Crosse loaded the bases on 3 singles in the 1st inning, but a double play got Lesley out of the inning.

Lars Nootbaar (USC) got the Loggers offense going with a solo home run with two outs.

Mankato responded in the 5th by loading the bases with 3 singles to start the inning. Alvaro Rubalcaba (Cal State Northfield) doubled, clearing the bases and giving the MoonDogs their first lead of the game. Bryce Adams (LSU) singled three batters later extending the lead to 4-1.

A solo home run by Mason McCoy (Iowa) in the top of the 6th cut the MoonDogs’ to two runs.  

Mankato loaded the bases again for the second consecutive inning on a walk and two hit batters. Brock Rude relieved Perez and struck out a batter. Jared Liebelt (Waubonese CC) came into pitch after the strikeout, but could not get out of the inning with more damage. David Metzgar (Cal State Bakersfield) doubled, scoring two more runs.

Cesar Salazar (Arizona) led the 7th inning off with another solo home run, cutting the Mankato lead to 6-3.

After the MoonDogs got the run back in their half of the 7th, the Loggers’ offense exploded in the 8th. Griffin Conine (Duke) led off the inning with his league-leading 13th home run of the season. Grant Fennell (Nevada) walked and scored with two outs on a single by Cesar Salazar. Justin Wylie (San Diego State) tied the game with a 2-run home run. 

The MoonDogs did not let the game stay tied for long. They put together 6 runs on 6 hits to take a commanding 13-7 lead.

The Loggers fought back in their final inning. After an error by the Mankato first baseman allowed Gavin Johns (UCLA) to advance to 1st to lead off the game. Mason McCoy did the most he could with his second home run of the game, a 2-run shot that brought the Mankato lead to four.

That made it an incredible six home runs for the game, breaking the team record for most in a game with the Loggers’ second ever game on June 4th, 2003 versus the Alexandria Beetles.

La Crosse loaded the bases, but could not complete the comeback, as the game went final.

La Crosse fell to 15-11 in the 2nd half (32-30 overall). Mankato moved up to 18-9 in the 2nd half (40-22 overall). Willmar defeated Duluth tonight, retaking a 1.5 game over the Loggers for the final wild card spot. La Crosse stays in Mankato for another night. Game two of the series is 7:05 tomorrow night. 

 

Box Score

La Crosse -