MANKATO- Minn. The Mankato MoonDogs, a member of the Northwoods League are excited to bring in a number of temporary players early in the 2017 season. In many cases, teams that have more depth in the first two weeks of the year give themselves a better chance to win a first half playoff position. Some temporary players earn the opportunity to sign full season contracts with their respective teams. This summer, the MoonDogs will welcome Caleb Fernolz, Tj Satterly, Sam Troyer, Michael Schalasky, Alex Ernestine, Nick Vaage, Justus Nelson, Griffin Schneider, Kenton Crews, and Nicholas Belzer.
Caleb Fernolz, a 6'1', 230 lb. junior from St. Thomas joins the MoonDogs after appearing on the mound in six games for the Tommies in 2017. Although Fernolz has struggled on the rubber lately, he was able to pick up the win for his team in his first game of the season, going 3.1 innings against Northwestern and allowing just 1 earned run. He currently has a 9.82 ERA with 15 strikeouts, 14 walks, and a 1-1 record. Fernolz is a native of Cashton, Wisconsin.
TJ Satterly is a right-handed pitcher and one of two MoonDogs players to be on temporary contracts from Rend Lake College. Satterly, a 6'2', 180 lb. sophomore pitcher has 15 appearances this spring including 8 starts. In 50.0 innings pitched, he has a 3.78 ERA including 43 strikeouts, 21 walks, and 35 runs allowed. Satterly averages 7.74 strikeouts per nine innings. He will transfer to play for Morehead State University next season.
Sam Troyer, a 6'0', 180 lb. sophomore joins teammate TJ Satterly from Rend Lake College on the MoonDogs in 2017. Listed as a shortstop, Troyer has had a strong year. He has appeared in 60 games and has a .305 batting average with 33 RBI, 50 runs scored, 14 doubles, 4 triples, and 20 walks. He will add speed on the base paths for the MoonDogs and has 19 stolen bases in 23 attempts. Troyer has announced his intent to transfer to the Evansville Purple Aces next spring.
Michael Schalasky, a 6'0", 185 lb. right-handed pitcher will come to the MoonDogs after finishing his sophomore campaign for the University of Indianapolis, where he has been a work horse on the mound for the Greyhounds. As a freshman, Schalasky pitched 58.0 innings, posting a 5.74 ERA with 43 strikeouts. This spring, he has a 4-0 record (in 4 starts) with a 5.40 ERA in 11 appearances and 36.2 innings pitched.
Alex Ernestine is a 6'5', 220 lb. sophomore from Nicholls State University. Ernestine is a left-handed pitcher who is an imposing figure on the mound. This spring, he has 46.1 innings pitched with a 7.58 ERA, a statistic that has steadily improved since the first week of the season. Ernestine also has a 3-5 record with 1 save and has a 32 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio. He has allowed 39 earned runs, 51 hits and 4 home runs.
Nick Vaage is a 6'2', 203 lb. outfielder and a Savage, Minnesota native. This season for the Memphis Tigers baseball team, he has appeared in 19 games, including 10 starts. Vaage has a .186 batting average with 3 RBI's, 43 at bats, 6 runs scored, 8 hits, and 2 doubles. Vaage redshirted at Memphis in 2016 and played his high school baseball at Prior Lake High School, where he was a member of two teams (2014 and 2015) that advanced to the state tournament.
Justuce Nelson, a 5'8', 180 lb. junior plays for Missouri S&T as a catcher. He has started all 37 games so far this spring for the Miners and currently holds a .240 batting average in 129 at bats. In addition, Nelson has scored 26 runs, has 2 doubles, 17 RBI's, and 14 walks. On the base paths, Nelson is fourth on his team with 8 stolen bases in 12 attempts. He is a Plymouth, Minnesota native where he attended Robbinsdale Armstrong High School.
Griffin Schneider is a 6'2', 180 lb. freshman at Century College this spring. The Wayzata, Minnesota native "can throw upper 80's from the outfield and is also capable of pitching if needed." This spring, he has a .320 AVG. with 26 RBI's, 28 runs scored and 4 stolen bases in 28 games played. He also has one home run. Out of high school, Schneider was listed as the 87th rated player in Minnesota according to Prep Baseball Report.
Kenton Crews, a 5'11', 170 lb. freshman joins the MoonDogs from the Evansville Purple Aces, where he has already made an impact in his first year. In 34 appearances, Crews is hitting .269 with 10 RBI's, 2 home runs, 6 doubles, and 7 walks. Crews is a good base runner and has 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts. In the outfield, Crews has made two errors and has a .975 fielding percentage.
Nicholas Belzer will become the second player to join the MoonDogs from Minnesota State University, Mankato this summer (the other being Ricky Digrugilliers). Belzer, a 6'2', 185 lb, redshirt-junior is a right-handed pitcher and has had success for the Mavericks this spring, posting a 4-0 record in 9 appearances (6 starts). In 38.0 innings pitched, Belzer has allowed 32 hits, 15 earned runs, and 19 walks. In addition he has recorded 54 strikeouts and opponents are hitting just .230 off of him.
The MoonDogs home opener is scheduled for May 31st at 7:05pm at Franklin Rogers Park. Tickets can be purchased online at http://northwoodsleague.com/mankato-moondogs/ or by calling (507)-625-7047.
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.
The Northwoods 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 20 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 160 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.