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MacDonald Hits Two Home Runs in Win Over Bismarck

Mankato, Minn. – The MoonDogs took the second game at home against the Larks on Wednesday night to stay in the playoff hunt. Although our pitching staff had a rough beginning, the MoonDogs offense showed up and hit a combined three home runs, 12 hits, and drove in nine runs in their victory over Bismarck.

Bismarck took an early lead when lead-off hitter, Carson Bartels (St. Johns University), hit a solo home run to left field in the top of the first inning. Mankato responded the next half inning with a run of their own. Nick Novak (Angelo State) led off the inning with a triple down the left field line, and scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Austin Bull (Grand Canyon).

The Larks came back with a three run inning that started with two singles, and then Braden Williams (New Mexico State) reached base on an error that allowed one run to score. The next two runs scored on a double to left-center by Bartels. Bismark scored another in the fourth inning after a Ripken Reyes (California) RBI single.

Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State) pulled the MoonDogs within one run in the fifth inning after he hit a three run home run to right field. The Larks scored again in the next inning to extend the deficit, but Austin Bull responded the next inning with a two-RBI double to tie the game.

The MoonDogs began to pull away in the bottom of the seventh when Jake Shepski (Xavier) had been given a second life after the Bismark first basemen failed to catch a fly ball in foul territory. Two pitches later, Shepski hit a solo home run, and MacDonald hit his second home run of the night in the following at bat.

Mankato added two additional insurance runs to give Zach Hardy (New Mexico State) a three run lead heading into the ninth. Hardy earned his tenth save of the season after setting down the Larks in order. Kyle MacDonald went 2-4 with four RBIs, and hit his 15th and 16th home run of the season to give him a comfortable lead in the league leader of RBIs and Home Runs.

The MoonDogs will head on the road tomorrow for a two game series against Eau Claire. Josh Ramirez (Washburn) is expected to start on the mound for Mankato, and first pitch will be at 6:35 pm.

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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, 200 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 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.