(Willmar, MN) It took ten innings, but when the dust finally settled Wednesday night, the Mankato MoonDogs (14-19) emerged 9-7 winners over the Willmar Stingers (18-16) at Bill Taunton Stadium.
In a game that the MoonDogs looked destined to lose, they found a way pull out their first extra inning victory of the season.
The MoonDogs looked poised to win the game in regulation when they had a 7-4 lead entering the bottom of the eighth inning. The Stingers had other ideas. Travis Cook (Washington State) loaded the bases with no one out. Jonathan Montoya(Cal State Bakersfield)came out of the bullpen and the first pitch he threw went to the backstop and allowed two runs to score and also allowed the tying run to move to third base. Bryan Willson (Central Arkansas) then drove a single up the middle to tie the game at 7-7.
Tied at seven heading into the tenth inning, the MoonDogs got a leadoff double from Cody Fick (Evansville). Then, on the first pitch to Danny Miller (Minnesota State-Mankato), he launched a ball deep to right field for a two-run home run, which would prove to be the difference in the ball game.
MoonDogs starter Logan Odom (University of Southern California) did not factor into the decision but he turned in one of the gutsiest performances of the year. With the MoonDog bullpen shorthanded, Odom worked into the seventh inning, going 6 and 2/3 while giving up four runs on eight hits and striking out six.
The win for the MoonDogs was their third straight and their first on the road since June 17th in Thunder Bay. Montoya (1-1) earned his first win of the year while Jayson Huett (1-2, NW Missouri St) took the loss.
The two teams meet up again Thursday night in Willmar at 7:05 p.m. and then travel to Franklin Rogers Park for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday night.