MoonDogs Mount Comeback Win North of the Border

By Connor Wachtel

Thunder Bay, Ont. – The MoonDogs won their first game of the season north of the border in Thunder Bay tonight. The final score was 8-7 as a late charge by Mankato proved to be the deciding factor.


BOX SCORE: Mankato 8, Thunder Bay 7

The MoonDog bats got the scoring started with a fielder’s choice RBI and an unearned run to follow it up. Mankato held a 2-0 lead after an inning and a half.

Thunder Bay responded quickly however, scoring three runs on four hits in the bottom of the second. The Border Cats took the lead 3-2 with a two-RBI single off the bat of Karsten Vasquez (Sacramento City).

Thunder Bay piled on another run in the third and followed it up with three more in the fourth. Ultimately amounting to seven unanswered runs and a 7-2 deficit after four innings.

The MoonDog’s offense came back to life in the seventh scoring four more runs. The bases were loaded with no outs when Tanner Craig (Evansville) roped a single to score the first two runs. Sky-Lar Culver (Arkansas State) also got it done a few batters later with two outs by lacing another two RBI hit, this time it was a double to bring Mankato within one.

In the eighth, the MoonDogs offense kept it going with Taylor Jackson (Kirkwood CC) stealing second base to get into scoring position. He would eventually score on a James Gargano (Butler) single. Mason Crews (Kansas State) then knocked in Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) to give the Dogs an 8-7 lead. It would prove to be the game-winning run in the end.


Player Notables:

Craig led the charge, going 4-2 with a walk two runs scored and an RBI.

Connor Campbell (Lander) started the game for the MoonDogs and went two innings giving up four hits, three runs, two walks and he struck out three batters. Shane Barringer (Bellarmine) came in for the third and went 3.2 innings where he gave up seven hits for four runs and he recorded four strikeouts. He was relieved by Trevor Smisek (Saint Leo) who earned the win going 1.1 innings only allowing a walk, he struck out three guys along the way. Alex Dorethy (Western Illinois) earned the save, pitching a solid eighth and ninth inning. He only surrendered a walk and struck out three.

Joey Hecht (Daytona State – Florida) of the Border Cats was handed the loss for his two-thirds of an inning pitched where he was hit off two times resulting in two runs. He also walked two batters.


Due up for the Dogs:

The MoonDogs (1-4) play the Thunder Bay Border Cats (0-5) again tomorrow in Canada. Tomorrow’s probable pitcher is Jacob Nagel (Bellarmine), game is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, Ont.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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,  225 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), World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS) and MLB All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.