Mankato, Minn. – The MoonDog offense came alive Monday night in game one of the North Division playoffs at Franklin Rogers Park. The MoonDogs won 10-4 over the Alexandria Beetles and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three game series. The win on Monday was the first playoff win in MoonDogs baseball history. The MoonDogs are now one win away from advancing to the Summer Collegiate World Series.
Monday was just another day at the ball park for MoonDogs outfielder and Northwoods League MVP Shaun Cooper (Utah), he was 3-for-4 with four runs scored, two RBIs, and a home run. Northwoods League Pitcher of the Year and MoonDogs starter, Blake Schwartz (Minnesota St.-Mankato), was the winning pitcher in game one. Schwartz pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out eight Beetle hitters. Mike Rivera was outstanding in his relief duty for the MoonDogs, pitching three innings, giving up two runs, none of them earned, and one hit while striking out five batters.
For the Alexandria Beetles, Mike Reed (LSU) suffered the loss. Reed pitched five innings and gave up five runs on six hits while walking four batters and striking out four batters. Beetle designated hitter Mike Theofanopolous (Cal-Berkeley) was 1-for-4 on the night with two RBIs on the night.
Both teams will travel to Alexandria tomorrow and play at Knute Nelson Field in game two of the best-of-three game series. Tyler Niederklein (Nebraska) is slated to start for the MoonDogs; Niederklein was 4-1 in the regular season with a 2.86 ERA. For Alexandria, Jon Reed (Tennessee) is set to take the mound, Reed was 6-1 in the regular season for the Beetles with a 3.35 ERA. Tune in to JJ Hartigan, the voice of the MoonDogs tomorrow night at 7:05.
In the South Division, the Battle Creek Bombers beat the Green Bay Bullfrogs 10-3 and also picked up their first playoff win in franchise history. Battle Creek leads the series 1-0 and will host Green Bay at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek and look to move on to the Summer Collegiate World Series.