MoonDogs Sweep Willmar in Twinbill
Mankato, Minn.- The MoonDogs swept the Willmar Stingers Monday night in a doubleheader matchup. The bats were hot in the first game as the ‘Dogs scored five runs in the first two innings of the game and won by a score of 6-2. The second game was a pitchers duel, but the MoonDogs prevailed in the bottom of the eighth inning as Blair Moore hit a walk-off two run homerun to clinch the victory for the ‘Dogs.
Nick Judkins (Creighton) led to MoonDogs offense in the first game of the doubleheader. Judkins was 3-for-4 from the plate with an RBI and a run scored. The MoonDogs got on the board in the first inning and added to there lead in the second with five runs in the bottom of the second. Matt Reida (Kentucky) led off the inning with a double and then advanced to third on a Rudy Weiser (Emporia St.) sacrifice bunt. Reida was a speed demon on the basepaths, stealing two bags. After Weiser’s sacrifice, Brennan Moore walked which put runners on first and third. Judkins then came to the plate and belted a double that scored Reida from third. Right after Judkins doubled, Shaun Cooper (Utah) came to the plate and doubled again which scored Moore from third and Judkins from second. Blaire Moore (San Diego St.) then wrapped up the scoring in the second inning with a single that scored Cooper.
With a five run lead heading into the third inning, MoonDog pitcher Tyler Niederklein (Nebraska) then went to work. Monday night was Niederklein’s season debut and he made the most of it. Niederklein pitched a complete game (seven innings) scattering six hits, only giving up two Stinger runs and striking out four Stinger batters. Niederklein now moves to 1-0 on the season for the MoonDogs as the MoonDogs took game one, 6-2.
Game two was a different story than game one was. Game two was a pitchers duel between the MoonDogs’ Blake Schwartz (Minnesota State) and the Stingers’ Michael Jahns (Northwestern).
Schwartz pitcher another great game for the ‘Dogs, giving up one run on two hits and one of the Stinger hits was a solo home run by Blake Sheppard in the first inning. After the Sheppard home run, Schwartz pitched one hit shutout baseball and struck out eight Stingers in five innings of work.
Both teams then turned to their bullpens and both ‘pens performed great, shutting the opponents’ offense down as the game headed into extra innings. In extras MoonDog reliever Patrick Goelz (Bethune-Cookman) stifled the Stinger bats and Nick Goody (LSU) came in to close the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the eight Shaun Cooper hit his second double of the night as Blaire Moore came to bat. Moore waited for his pitch and crushed a walk-off home run to right-field to end the game in extra innings. The home run was Moore’s third of the season and the MoonDogs move to 14-5 on the season and the record puts them in first place in the North Division as well as the best overall record in the Northwoods League. The MoonDogs will battle the Stingers again tomorrow night at 7:05pm. Tomorrow is Subway Drawstring Backpack Giveaway, the first 300 kids receive a drawstring backpack courtesy of Subway, it is also Waseca Night tomorrow night.