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Sunday Nights Game in Numbers

MANKATO, MINN. – In many ways Mankato’s 18-14 victory over Willmar in 17 innings will be memorable for years to come.  The thrilling contest was only amplified by the fact that the game came in the deciding third-game of a series with significant playoff implications for both squads.  But rather than attempt to try and explain what made Sunday’s marathon so incredible, it helps to take a look at some of the numbers that came out of it.

6 Hours and 28 Minutes: Total length of Sunday’s game which started at 6:08 p.m. and extended until 12:36 a.m.  Monday morning.  The game sets the season high in the Northwoods League for duration of play, ousting the 21-inning affair between Madison and Lakeshore on July 12 which only lasted 5:49.  Sunday also set a MoonDogs franchise record for longest game ever played.

630: Pitches thrown combined between the MoonDogs and Stingers pitching staff.  Each team sent seven different pitchers to the mound, with Willmar holding the high mark with total pitches thrown with 341 over Mankato’s 289. 

5: Lead changes in the first five innings. While the extra innings will most likely be what most people will remember about Sunday’s game, the first five frames were equally as hectic at Bill Taunton Stadium.  After Willmar initially took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, the lead changed hands five different times over the next four innings as the two teams put up 22 total runs by the end of the fifth.  The MoonDogs emerged from the offensive blitzkrieg on top 13-9, a lead they held onto until Willmar knotted things up in the bottom of the ninth.

2: Different occasions where Willmar was able to tie the game in the bottom of a deciding inning.  The Stingers were able to respond when their backs were against the wall Sunday, putting forth a couple of rallies when the MoonDogs had a chance to close out the game.  Willmar racked up three hits in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and send it into extra innings,  and rallied again five innings later with another run in the 14th after Mankato was able to take a 14-13 lead.

166: Total number of batters sent to the plate between the two teams.  Mankato held the slight edge 84-82, thanks in large part to the 10 batters sent in the deciding 17th inning, where the MoonDogs eked out four runs on two hits, four walks, and an error by the Stingers’ defense.

32: Total men left on base (Mankato 15, Willmar 17).

32: Total runs scored.

41: Total hits (Willmar 22, Mankato 19).

11: Total errors committed (Willmar 7, Mankato 4).

31: Total strikeouts thrown (Mankato 18, Willmar 13).

18: Total walks issued (Mankato 10, Willmar 8).

While the Mankato MoonDogs were able to depart from Willmar, albeit much later than they anticipated, they did so not only with the solace of picking up a big win against a divisional rival they are chasing in the standings, but knowing that they participated in a game that will surely go down in franchise and league history.

Probably the most fortunate aspect of the game, for both the MoonDogs and Stingers, is that it fell on the eve of the All-Star break- because after the 17-inning show they put on for the crowd at Bill Taunton Stadium, it is fair to say they have earned a couple of days off.