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Rox Rally to Eliminate MoonDogs from Playoffs

One day after a definitive win in Eau Claire in the opening round of the Northwoods League playoffs, the Mankato MoonDogs hosted the St. Cloud Rox in the North Division Championship, with a trip to the Summer Collegiate World Series on the line.  The two teams battled back and forth for nearly four hours until the Rox won 5-2 in 12 innings.

The Rox put themselves on the board right away in the first inning, but did so without a hit, using a hit-by-pitch and a dropped third strike to score the first run of the game off MoonDogs starter Andy Fisher.  But that was all the Rox would muster off Fisher, and they took a 1-0 into the sixth inning.

After Rox starter Robbie Palkert exited the game after five innings of one-hit ball, the MoonDogs capitalized right away, scoring two runs to take a 2-1 lead.  CJ Schaeffer and Jake Ortega started the inning with a pair of singles.  Both would end up scoring; Schaeffer on a wild pitch and Ortega on a single by Jake Shepski.

Meanwhile, Fisher was not giving the Rox anything to work with, finally coming out of the game after reaching the 110 pitch limit.  He finished with a line of 7.2 innings pitched, four hits, and zero earned runs.

Reliever Joey Gerber finished the eighth inning for Fisher, and came out for the ninth inning.  But an error by Ryan Kreidler gave the Rox a runner on third base with no outs.  Gerber retired the next two hitters, and came within a strike of stranding the runner and ending the game.  But a single by Ricardo Sanchez tied the game at two and sent it into extra innings.

Both teams were held scoreless until the twelfth inning, when the Rox finally broke through against MoonDogs reliever Naithen Dewsnap in his third inning of work.  Four hits turned into three runs for the Rox, giving them a 5-2 lead.  The MoonDogs went down in order in the bottom half of the inning, ending their season.

Shepski and Alvaro Rubalcaba each had two hits for the MoonDogs, while Shepski added the only RBI for his team.  They finished their season with 45 wins, including playoffs, one short of their franchise record.  The Rox will travel to Battle Creek, MI, to take on the Bombers in the Summer Collegiate World Series, starting on Wednesday.

 

 

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.

 

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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