The 2015 season opener for both the MoonDogs and Rochester Honkers was dominated early by pitching. Neither team was able to score until the eighth inning in front of a crowd of 1,412 at The Frank in Mankato, Minnesota.
Returning MoonDogs pitcher Austin Warner (Bellarmine) got the start and worked five complete innings while fanning 10 Honkers. Warner surrendered three hits and walked only one.
Reece Eddins (Nebraska) and Grant Hamilton (Oklahoma City U.) also toed the rubber for the MoonDogs, each in relief.
Jack Flansburg (Cypress CC) led the MoonDogs offensively with two hits, while Kevin Hall (North Alabama) and Brinn Bell (St. Ambrose) each recorded one hit.
Mankato's bats were held in check by strong performances by Jayson Yano, who went 7.2 innings with five strikeouts and only allowed two hits. Spencer Greer combined with Yano to shutout the MoonDogs. Yano gets the win, Eddins takes the loss and Greer picks up the save.
The MoonDogs will hit the road traveling to Waterloo and Alexandria and will return to The Frank on Monday, June 1 as they take on the Willmar Stingers. Tickets are still available online, over the phone at (507) 625-7047, or in the office located at 1221 Caledonia Street.
“The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.