MoonDogs Walk Off Winners, 3-2 over Loggers
MANKATO, MN – A top-notch pitching dual in a playoff-type atmosphere entertained 1,437 fans at Franklin Rogers Park on Sunday night before the host MoonDogs walked off as winners, topping the visiting La Crosse Loggers by a final of 3-2.
Loggers starter Ted Stuka (UC-San Diego) locked horns with MoonDogs starter Jarod Wright (Southern Miss) and took a scoreless game into the fifth inning. That’s when Loggers lead-off man Braiden Ward (Washington) launched a two-out solo shot off of the large videoboard in right field to give the Loggers a 1-0 lead. One batter later, Bryce Blaum (singled) and was followed by a RBI double off the bat of Harrison Freed (Butler) to give La Crosse a 2-0 advantage.
Stuka continued to deal from there, eventually tossing 7.1 innings of one-run baseball while striking out seven before departing with a 2-1 lead. Jon Meyerring (Miami-OH) would come in to relieve Stuka and get out of the eighth keeping the Loggers one-run edge.
After issuing a lead-off walk to Mankato to start the bottom of the ninth, Meyerring then surrendered a single and a RBI sacrifice fly to knot the game at two before Loggers skipper Brian Lewis summoned Chase Whitaker (Merced CC) from the bullpen. Whitaker induced a ground out for the second out before Kenton Crews came to the plate who also hit a ground ball to deep shortstop that Ward made an outstanding play on, but the Crews was ruled safe at first and the winning run came into score to give Mankato a 3-2 walk-off victory.
La Crosse outhit Mankato 9-6 on the night led by Blaum’s four-hit night and Freed recorded three safeties and a RBI as well.
The Loggers will now travel north to St. Cloud to take on the Rox beginning on Monday with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch scheduled at Joe Faber Field. Air time on the Logger Nation Station, the Eagle 102.7 FM, is set for 6:30 p.m.