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Published On: May 29th, 2018

Mankato, Minn. – Nick Belzer started the first game of the season for the MoonDogs and pitched six innings while only giving up one run, and struck out four. Duluth’s starting pitcher, Zac Shoemaker, pitched four innings and only allowed one run with three walks, and five strikeouts.

MoonDogs’ leadoff hitter, Nick Novak started the bats out hot for the team after he hit a double down the left field line in the top of the first inning. Novak eventually scored after Blaze Glenn hit a grounder up the middle later in the inning.

First baseman, Hunter Bigge, got the Huskies’ bats going by leading off the inning with a double down the right field line. Omar Veloz eventually drove in Bigge with a two-out single.

During Logan VanWey’s second inning of work for the Huskies, MoonDogs’ catcher, Evan Klugerman hit a double off of the right field wall and scored left fielder Josh Elvir for the MoonDogs’ second run of the game.

Mankato led off the eighth inning with a pair of walks from Elvir and Klugerman, then later scored on a wild pitch to the backstop. Right fielder, Roger Danison hit a single and then scored after Novak hit a sacrifice fly.

In the seventh inning, Mankato brought in another MSU Maverick, Jon Ludwig, who pitched a three-inning save to secure a MoonDogs victory. Ludwig picked up five strikeouts in his three innings of work and only surrendered one hit and one walk.

First pitch will be 7:05 pm for game two between the MoonDogs and the Huskies tomorrow at Franklin Rogers Park.


The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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, 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit 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.