McMahon Pitches MoonDogs to 1-0 Win in Willmar

WILLMAR-Minn. The Mankato MoonDogs desperately needed a win on Monday night to keep their hopes of a playoff berth alive and James McMahon came to the rescue, pitching eight innings and allowing the MoonDogs to win 1-0 at Bill Taunton Stadium against the Willmar Stingers.

In McMahon's eight innings of work, he allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out four. It was a scoreless contest until the top of the eighth inning. Brett Murray led off with a single to center field for the MoonDogs and Tyler Sullivan advanced Murray to second on a sacrifice bunt. Brett Synek followed with a ground ball to first base, putting Murray ninety feet away at third. Peter Maris was next and in a big presseure spot, lifted a double to right field, scoring Murray and giving the MoonDogs the critical 1-0 lead going into the ninth.

Jacob Westerhouse came in to pitch the ninth for Mankato and immediately gave up a single to Sean Beesley. After a Beesley stolen base, Nick Rivera advanced to first on an error to put runners on the corners with no outs.

Westerhouse got Casey Hughton to fly out for the first out of the inning, leaving the runners where they were. He then got Reagan Fowler to strikeout swinging for out number two. Max Dutto came to the plate with two down in the ninth and was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for the Stingers.

With the tying run on third and the bases loaded, Brett Barbier popped up an 0-1 pitch to end the game. 

With the victory, Mankato improves to (17-14) in the second half north division standings. In third place, the MoonDogs now trail the Waterloo Bucks by a game and a half with five games to play in the regular season. The Stingers are now (21-16), one game ahead of the MoonDogs for second place. 

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.  For more information, visit