ST. CLOUD- Minn. Daniel Amaral went 3 for 4 with a pair of triples and the MoonDogs won game one of their day-night doubleheader with the St. Cloud Rox 2-1 at Joe Faber field on Wednesday afternoon. With his two triples, Amaral also took the league lead in that category with 6 on the season. A game tied at one from inning 2 to inning 9, a Logan Busch sacrifice fly ended up to be the difference, scoring Amaral from third base.
In the first inning, the MoonDogs grabbed a lead when Daniel Amaral (UCLA) sliced a two out triple into the right centerfield gap and scored on a Kyle Cuellar (UCLA) single. In the bottom of inning one, the Rox tied it at 1 after Drew Avans (Southeastern Louisiana) walked and eventually scored on an RBI ground out to short by Michael Busch (North Carolina). The scoring halted for both teams for the middle part of the game. MoonDogs starter Dylan Jones went 4.1 innings allowing only 2 hits and Austin Bollinger pitched three innings of scoreless relief.
For the Rox, Nick Morreale (Georgetown) in his first start went 6.0 innings and allowed 1 earned run on 4 hits, walking 2 and striking out 5. The MoonDogs threatened with a pair of one out base hits back to back in the sixth by Jake Ortega (CSU-Bakersfield) and Daniel Amaral but Kyle Cuellar (UCLA) grounded into a 5-3 double play. Then the Rox nearly got a runner across in the sixth, but Bollinger got Brandon Illies (North Carolina) out on a 5-4-3 double play.
Amaral led off the ninth with a stand up triple to the gap in right center field. Then after a ground out on Kyle Cuellar, Logan Busch hit a shallow fly ball to center field and the throw from Drew Avans was over the head of catcher Brendan Illies at the plate. Naithan Dewsnap gave up a two out single in the ninth but got Matthew Tarantino to ground out to end the game. Austin Bollinger (5-2) got the win in relief for Mankato while Ivan Coutinho (1-4) took the loss for St. Cloud, allowing the winning run to score in the ninth inning. Naithan Dewsnap picked up his ninth save of the summer.
Game 2 featured another low scoring affair but the Rox grabbed the win 3-2 on a walk-off two run home run in the ninth by Cameron Eden (Cal Berkely). St. Cloud went up 1-0 in the fourth inning starting with back to back lead off singles by Michael Busch (North Carolina) and Mason Mammarella (Kent State). A sacrifice bunt by Trevor Putzig put both in scoring position and a run was scored on an RBI single by Brendan Illies. Then the MoonDogs struck back in the top of the sixth. Ryan Kreidler led off with a single and Kyle Cuellar followed with a walk. Both came around to score on an Ethan Valdez (Nicholls State) single, putting the MoonDogs in front 2-1. The score remained until Joey Gerber came in to pitch the ninth, looking for his fourth save and things started well for Mankato with Trevor Putzig striking out for out number. Then Brendan Illies singled up the middle and Cameron Eden blasted his game winning home run to left field with cleared the wall by well over 10 feet and hit a tree.
Brett Newberg received a no decision but pitched well for Mankato, matching his season long 8.0 innings and allowing 1 earned run on 8 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2. Brett Killam pitched the ninth inning for St. Cloud and got the win. He did not allow any hits and faced four hitters, striking out 1. The two teams play again August 3rd at Joe Faber Field with first pitch at 7:05pm. The MoonDogs remained in first place in the north division second half standings with a record of 17-9 (37-25 overall) a half game ahead of second place Eau Claire (17-10). The Rox record moved to 11-15 (36-26 overall).
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. 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 170 former 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 portal. For more information, visit [www.mankatomoondogs.com]or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play 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 180 former 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.