MoonDogs Stung by Stingers

Mankato, Minn.- The Mankato MoonDogs lost all three games in a tripleheader to the Willmar Stingers Saturday night. The game between the two teams from June 21st, which was suspended due to bad weather, was completed Saturday night with the Stingers winning 9-8 in 13 innings. The teams then made-up Friday night’s game, which was postponed due to bad weather, which the Stingers won 4-0, and played the regularly scheduled game for Saturday, which the Stingers also won 5-2.

In the first game, the MoonDogs started where the game last left off in the bottom of the 12th inning with the MoonDogs due to bat. The MoonDogs could not produce any runs and the Stingers scored in the top of the 13th inning thanks to a Jason Leblebijian (Bradley) single that scored Ryan Dettman (Oregon St.) from second base and the Stingers won 9-8 in 13 innings.

In the second game, which was made up from Friday night, the Stingers pitching staff absolutely shut down the MoonDog offense. The MoonDogs were held the three hits, zero runs, and struck out seven times in the seven innings of play. Ricky Knapp (Florida Gulf Coast) threw five solid innings for Willmar, giving up three hits, no runs and striking out four. Eduardo Gonzalez (Alcorn St.) and Jarid Scarafiotti (Stephen F. Austin) each drove in runs to pace the Willmar offense. MoonDog pitcher Sam Selman (Vanderbilt) suffered his first loss of the season and falls to 2-1 on the season. Selman gave up three runs on four hits, walked three, and struck out two in five innings of work for the ‘Dogs.

Game two was the same song to a different tune as the Willmar pitching staff once again shut down the MoonDogs offense, despite a late rally by the ‘Dogs in the sixth inning. The MoonDogs managed two runs in the sixth, thanks to a Chris Ross (Montevallo) double, a Shaun Cooper (Utah) single and an error by the Stinger catcher Anthony Bemboom (Creighton) that went into center field that both Ross and Cooper scored on. Despite the late rally, the Stingers held on to win 5-2. Thomas Taylor (Kansas) got the win on the hill for the Stingers and Alex Blackford (Arizona St.) suffered the loss for the ‘Dogs. Taylor moves to 3-1 on the season for Willmar, while Blackford moves to 0-2 for the ‘Dogs.

The MoonDogs now are on their All-Star break for three days before returning home Wednesday to battle the St. Cloud River Bats. The 2011 Northwoods League All-Star Game will be played on Monday, July 18th at 7:05pm at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. The MoonDogs will send Nick Judkins (Creighton), Matt Mazzoni (Fresno Pacific), Blake Schwartz (Minnesota St.) and Shaun Cooper (Utah) to the game to represent Mankato. The MoonDog coaching staff will also accompany the players and will be coaching the North Division All-Stars. The MoonDog coaches are honored with this privilege as a result of winning the Northwoods League first-half North Division title.