Cooper ties NWL Record Dogs fall to Beetles

Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs lost to the Alexandria Beetles Monday night at Franklin Rogers Park by a score of 9-5. The MoonDogs and Beetles are now tied in the standings for the best overall record in the North Division.

Shaun Cooper (Utah) did his best by hitting a home run that gave him home run number 19 on the season and put him in the Northwoods League record books. With that home run, Cooper is now tied for first all-time for the Northwoods League single season home run record. Cooper hit the home run in the bottom of the third inning off of Michael Reed (LSU). He is now tied for first with Jason Washam (Rochester ’94).

The MoonDogs were off to a great start to begin the game. Starting pitcher Matt Dunbar (Arizona St.) retired the side to begin the game, and the MoonDogs offense put two runs on the board in the bottom half of the first. Chris Ross started off the inning by walking, then Nick Judkins (Creighton) hit a single to put two base runners on. After a Shaun Cooper strikeout, Mike Rivera (Fresno Pacific) hit a single to left field and an error by Beetle left fielder Chris Fritts (Tennessee) allowed all runners to advance scoring Ross and Judkins.

Dunbar pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on three hits and striking out five batters, picking up the no decision. Matt Mazzoni (Fresno Pacific)suffered the loss on the mound for the ‘Dogs in his relief duties. Mazzoni pitched 1 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, and walked three batters, picking up his first loss of the season and falling to 3-1.

The Beetles hitters started heating up in the fifth inning when they scored three runs, and they continued as they put up five more runs in the seventh inning to take the lead 9-5 over the MoonDogs. After a rough start by pitcher Jake Reed, the Beetles bullpen shut down the MoonDogs hitters, giving up two hits and striking out five batters in 4 innings of relief duty.

The MoonDogs will now enjoy a day off Tuesday, and then head to St. Cloud for a three game series against the River Bats. The series will be an important one for the MoonDogs if they hope to clinch home field advantage in the playoffs. They will return home on Saturday the 13th and play the Thunder Bay Border Cats in their final two regular-season home games.