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MoonDogs Swept in Double Header

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Willmar, MN — The Mankato MoonDogs rode into Willmar looking to continue their winning ways. The Willmar Stingers had other ideas, beating Mankato 4-2 in game one of their double header, and walking off in a 2-1 ballgame in the night cap to sweep the MoonDogs on Monday night at Bill Taunton Stadium. 

Jake Shepski (Notre Dame) homered in game one to pull the MoonDogs within two runs of the Stingers. Willmar had amassed a 4-1 lead after a four-run second inning to take the lead. Shepski's solo blast lead off the fifth, that saw David Metzgar and Jordan Washam single to mount a rally. The momentum would swing quickly, though.

With no one out, Metzgar would attempt to score on a wild pitch by the Stingers' Kiko Garcia, but Kole Cottam had other plans. Cottom would scramble to the ball and flip to Garcia, who was covering home plate, to tag out Metzgar on a close play for the first out of the inning. Garcia would retire the next two hitters to end the threat.

Mankato would get two baserunners over the final two innings, eventually falling to the Stingers 4-2. The MoonDogs' Gabe Constantine would be charged with the loss, while Garcia picked up the win for the Stingers.

Game two was a hard-fought battle between the two teams. Early on it was clear pitching would dominate, as Jonny Ortiz would hold the MoonDogs to just four hits over his seven innings of work, with Mankato's lone run coming on a sacrifice fly from Jordan Washam to score Drew Fearing in the sixth.

The lead would be short lived for the MoonDogs, with Willmar answering the bell in the bottom half of the inning when Greg Lambert scored on a Luke Becker single. The sixth would be start Alex Vesia's last inning, after he allowed the one run on six hits while striking out eight Stingers in his MoonDogs debut. 

Willmar scored the decisive run in the ninth inning when Justin Turner, who had struck out in all of his previous four at-bats, singled to center field allowing Cole Gray to score. Willmar would sweep the double header, with the final score of game two 2-1.

The MoonDogs travel home on Tuesday to finish out the season series against the Willmar Stingers at Franklin Rogers Park. First pitch will be at 7:05 PM.

The game can be heard live on The Fan Mankato, iHeart Radio or at www.mankatomoondogs.com.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the gate, in the office at 1221 Caledonia St. or online at www.mankatomoondogs.com

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The Northwood’s League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year old summer collegiate 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 valuabletraining ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 150 Northwood’s League playershave advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) andMLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM)and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable via the Northwood’s League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com

The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwood’s League. Playing its 23nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2016, the Northwood’s 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 150 Northwood’s 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 (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwood’s League Website. For more information, visit www.mankatomoondogs.com