Eau Claire, WI — The Mankato MoonDogs went into Friday night's game against the Eau Claire Express 0-3 in extra inning ballgames in 2016, but 6-1 against the Express in the season series. It took 12 innings, but the MoonDogs improved both of those records with a 6-4 win at Carson Park.
The Mankato offense broke through in the 12th with three straight hits, the biggest of which was Jordan Washam's RBI double. Jake Shepski scored to give the MoonDogs a 5-4 lead, but a wild pitch by Express reliever Christian Tripp allowed Bryce Adams to score the sixth and final run for Mankato.
After Eau Claire tied the ballgame in the eighth inning, the game wore on to the 11th inning tied at 4-4. A leadoff triple by Kyle Marinconz of Eau Claire moved the game winning run just 90 feet away from ending the ballgame.Mankato entered into a chess match the rest of the inning with Brian Gadsby on the mound.
Gadsby intentionally walked Jared Mang to put runners at the corners. Gadsby then struck out Michael Hicks for the first out of the inning before loading the bases with an intentional walk to Mickey McDonald. Gadsby got Cody Bohanek to hit a ground ball to first with the infield in, where Bryce Adams was able to get the out at home plate to keep the game going, and get the second out of the inning. Alex McKenna then smashed a line drive back through the middle, but Gadsby made a game saving grab to force a 12th inning.
Tyler Lesley (Incarnate Word) made his debut in a start for the MoonDogs, and though he recieved a no decision in the game, threw 6.2 innings while holding Eau Claire to three runs on seven hits. Lesley did not allow a walk while striking out three. Brian Gadsby earned the win for Mankato, going 4.1 innings himself while allowing just two hits without a run.
The MoonDogs return home on Saturday for Military Appreciation Night and will welcome the Waterloo Bucks to town for a weekend series. First pitch will be at 6:05 PM, with gates opening at 5:00 PM. Fans can hear all of the action on www.mankatomoondogs.com, the iHeart Radio app, and The Fan Mankato (103.1 FM & 1230 AM).
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.