MANKATO- Minn. Cord Cockrell pitched a strong 6.2 innings and the MoonDogs picked up their second straight victory over the Willmar Stingers Thursday night at Franklin Rogers Park 3-2.
Cockrell got the win for his effort, giving up just one earned run on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts, improving his season record to 3-2 and the MoonDogs second half record to 2-0.
Willmar got the offense started in the third when second baseman Brian Pruett singled up the middle to lead off. After a sacrifice bunt to move Pruett to second, first baseman Nick Rivera was able to drive him in with a single to left field. Cord Cockrell was able to keep the Stingers off the base paths most of the night though and set down the Stingers in order in the first and sixth innings.
In the bottom of the fourth the MoonDogs tied the game on a Brinn Bell two out single and would be able to take the lead in the sixth on a Levi Scott sacrifice fly after Brett Synek reached base on a double to deep left center and advanced to third. They added an insurance run in the bottom of inning eight when Tyler Sullivan singled and eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Peter Maris.
The win was important for Mankato who finished the first half in third place in the north division with a record of 21-15. Kurt Yinger took the loss for Willmar, despite throwing eight complete innings and giving up three earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts. Jacob Westerhouse got the save for the MoonDogs, yielding zero runs over the final 2.1 innings.
The MoonDogs (2-0) will visit Eau Claire for a two game series at Carson Park Friday and Saturday night before going to Waterloo to finish the road trip. Fans can listen to all MoonDogs games on AM1230 The Fan Mankato with the radio voice of the MoonDogs Josh Horton.
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.