Mankato, Minn. — The Mankato MoonDogs defeated the Willmar Stingers at Franklin Rogers Park Friday evening by a score of 5-1. The MoonDogs have won their last three games at Franklin Rogers Park and are undefeated in the second half.
The scoring started early at the Frank with Willmar striking first via an RBI groundout. The MoonDogs regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning as RJ Teijeiro (UCLA) drove in Nick Novak (Angelo State) and an error by the Stinger shortstop scored Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State). Novak then advanced the Mankato lead with a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Zac Wiley (Bellarmine).
Jon Ludwig (Minnesota State) worked out of a jam in the top of the sixth. With runners on second and third, Ludwig earned his third strikeout of the inning to strand the Willmar baserunners.
The MoonDogs gained runners in the fifth and sixth innings but were unable to bring them across to score. Zac Wiley then extended the lead with a powerful solo homerun to left field in the bottom of the seventh. Wiley, the 2017 season leader in homeruns for the MoonDogs, tallied his second longball of the season and 16th RBI.
Mankato added an insurance run through Max Wright (Indiana State) in the eighth. Wright singled to the right side and scored Garrett Mitchell (UCLA) from third. Mitchell’s run represents Wright’s 15th RBI of the season.
The Stingers provided some late drama at the Frank. Willmar loaded the bases without recording a single out. Alden Huschle (Seattle) was able to draw a fly out and earned consecutive strikeouts to gain a six-out save.
Ludwig went six innings and with the win now holds a 4-1 record. Ludwig only allowed four hits, struck out six batters and owns an ERA of 1.18. Brett Newberg (Austin Peay) made his sixth appearance of the season in relief for Mankato while Huschle recorded his second save of the season.
The MoonDogs will play the reverse fixture against the Stingers in Willmar tomorrow evening at 7:05 and will host Thunder Bay on July 8th and 9th in Mankato.
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.