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Published On: May 29th, 2015

WATERLOO, IA- A night after the MoonDog’s season opener was spoiled by the Rochester Honkers, Mankato was in prime position to pay it forward to the Bucks in Waterloo. Late game heroics coupled with a key management decision turned the tables in walk-off fashion.

 On the bump for Mankato for the first time this season was Connor O’Neill of Cal State Northridge. O’neill surrendered two quick runs in the first inning, the first of which came during a Zach Jarrett triple to score Mikel Hill. The second run came one batter later when designated hitter Mark Hernandez grounded out to MoonDog’s second baseman Jack Flansburg.

Down 2-0, Mankato would, in no time, strike back. A long two-run home run off the bat of MoonDog’s Catcher Kaden Moore tied the game in the top half of the second inning. Moore went 2 for 4 with that home run, a double, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Moore would be the only MoonDog to have multiple hits on the night.

Carson McPherson would be the casualty of that home run, which contributed to his line of 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 5 walks, and just 1 strikeout in 5 innings of work. The MoonDogs would strike again in the fourth with MoonDog’s shortstop Sulliam Rios-Reyes driving in Kaden Moore with a single.

The score would stay 3-2 in favor of Mankato up until the bottom of the ninth inning. MoonDog’s reliever Kyle Goodbrand would dispense of the leadoff hitter, Buck’s catcher Matt Stemper, by inducing a ground ball to second base. He would then walk both Alex Boxwell (CF) and Luke Stratmen (3B), putting runners on first and second with one out.

Waterloo manager Tony Manville would pinch hit for right fielder Joseph Shepard with Adam McGinnis, and it paid off in a big way. McGinnis was able to line a ball to shallow left center field, which allowed the speedy Boxwell to score from second to tie the game. The very next batter, second baseman Taylor Boyd, would end the game in exciting fashion, driving a ball to right center field to bring home Luke Stratman from second base. The frozen rope gave Waterloo a walk-off win to move their record to 2-0.

The MoonDogs drop to 0-2 after the loss, and will return to Riverfront Stadium tomorrow to finish up the series with the Bucks; first pitch is at 7:05 PM. You can listen to the game live on AM1230 & FM 103.1 The Fan Mankato with the voice of the MoonDogs Shawn Murnin.

“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."