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Published On: July 11th, 2007

(Mankato, MN) – With Mankato hosting its first ever Northwoods League All-Star Game and the MoonDogs setting a new attendance mark for Franklin Rogers Park at 2,319, it was only fitting that MoonDog third baseman Nate Hanson ripped a two-out, two-run double down the left field line, scoring Matt Fanelli of St. Cloud and Brandon McCall of Thunder Bay, to take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 7th inning. The South would put one more run on the board in the ninth, courtesy of La Crosse slugger Evan Bigley, who smashed a home run off St. Cloud reliever Ryan Wrobel.

For the North, Hanson would be named the game’s Star of Stars after going 1-for-3 with the tie-breaking double. Xavier Scruggs of Brainerd also drove in St. Cloud outfielder Tim Wheeler, who stole two bases in the game, in the bottom of the second to give the North a 1-0 lead. The South responded with a run of their own in the top of the 3rd inning. Daniel Robertson of Green Bay drove in John Delaney of Battle Creek on an error by the shortstop to even the score.

MoonDogs catcher Ben Geelan was 0-for-2 on the evening. Both the North and South had trouble producing hits off the All-Star pitching staffs. Bigley was the only player to record a multi-hit game on the evening, going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run.

Both sides saw quality pitching from their staffs. Thunder Bay pitcher Kris Ruepke (1-0) would get the win for the North. He went two-thirds of an inning without allowing a hit and striking out two. Wes Simmons (0-1) of Eau Claire would end up taking the loss after allowing two runs in the seventh inning. St. Cloud pitcher Ryan Wrobel would record a save for the North. The game featured dominant pitching, including 27 strikeouts for the two squads led by Zachary Von Tersch of Duluth and Justin Walker of La Crosse, who each pitched hitless innings and recorded strikeouts for all three of their outs.

Xavier Scruggs also won the Home Run Derby, which was held prior to the game. Scruggs hit seven home runs in the final round of the competition to take home the All-Star Bat.