Mankato, Minn. – The MoonDogs fell short to Eau Claire tonight after starting pitcher, Justin Revels (Illinois-Springfield), went perfect through the first four innings of play. He would go on to pitch six and one-third innings and allow two runs to the MoonDogs.
The Express caused trouble for Nick Belzer (Minnesota State) early, as they began the second inning with three straight hits. Eau Claire’s designated hitter, Phillip Sikes (New Mexico), hit a single to center field and drove in Nick Brueser (Stanford) for the first run of the game. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Noah Sifrit (Oklahoma State) hit a grounder to short and reached base on a fielders choice which allowed David LaManna (Notre Dame) to score for Eau Claire’s second run.
Express second baseman, Scott Ogrin (Cal Poly) extended their lead in the top of the third with his second home run of the season to left field.
The bats woke up in the bottom of the fifth when Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State) hit a single to become the first base runner of the game for the MoonDogs. MacDonald would later come around to score on a Zac Wiley (Bellarmine) single to center field. Nick Novak (Angelo State) then hit the third single of the inning, narrowing the lead to 3-2.
The MoonDogs threatened in the bottom of the ninth when Andrew Morales (Angelo State) reached base on an infielder error, and Jake Shepski (Xavier) drew a walk to represent the tying run. Eau Claire’s closer, Phillip Sikes responded by striking out the final two batters of the game.
The Waterloo Bucks will be in Mankato to play the MoonDogs tomorrow at Franklin Rogers Park for a two game series. First pitch is scheduled to be at 6:05 pm.
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in 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, more than 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 https://northwoodsleague.com/mankato-moondogs/ 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.