Kenosha, WI — The Mankato MoonDogs sent three members of their 2016 roster to Kenosha to compete in the Northwoods League's version of the Mid-Summer Classic. This year's tilt between the North and South Division was a crowd pleaser at Historic Simmons Field, but the North Division went on to win the game 9-5 on Tuesday night.
Jake Shepski (Notre Dame) recieved a start in center field for the North Divison after competing in Monday's home run derby. Shepski started off the ballgame with an RBI single, slapping a ball right back up the middle to score Eau Claire's Daulton Varsho. The run was the third of the game, part of a seven-run first inning for the North. Shepski finished the night 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. In the fourth, the switch-hitting outfield smashed a ball that died at the warning track, missing a home run by a matter of feet.
Ricky Digrugilliers (Western Illinois) appeared for the North in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Digrugilliers struck out home run derby champion Marty Bechina of the hosting Kenosha Kingfish during the inning, while allowing a run on two hits. The right hander did not issue a walk over his 0.2 innings of work for the North Divison, helping them exit the inning still up 7-3.
Jordan Kozicky (Minnesota) also entered the game in the fifth inning, replacing Willmar's Greg Lambert. During his first plate appearance in the sixth, Kozicky reached on a fielder's choice after htting the ball to third base. The ball would be thrown away allowing everyone to reach base safely. Kozicky would go first-to-third during the very next at-bat with a run scoring to give the North a commanding 8-3 lead. The University of Minnesota product finished the game 0-for-2 while playing well defensively at first base. He also gave a deep drive to left field, just missing a potential home run of his own.
With a 9-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, Waterloo Bucks' and North Divison pitcher Brandon Downey loaded the bases, but was able to work out of the jam to cinch the win. Tomorrow will be a travel day for all teams, with play resuming on Thursday. Mankato will host the Waterloo Bucks for the first game of a four-game series with the Bucks.
Gates open at 6:05 PM with first pitch at 7:05 PM at Franklin Rogers Park. Don't forget to tune into The Fan Mankato (1230 AM and 103.1 FM), Northwoods League TV, or www.mankatomoondogs.com for all of the action!
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd 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 150 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 (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visitwww.mankatomoondogs.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.