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Published On: June 1st, 2019

By Connor Wachtel

Willmar, Minn. – The MoonDogs dropped the final game of their four-game series with the Stingers 9-8 tonight in Willmar. Mankato saw early and explosive offense in the first frame but couldn’t back it up with enough insurance runs in the long run.


BOX SCORE: Willmar 9, Mankato 8

The MoonDog bats came into Willmar hot on Friday night, scoring five runs in the first inning. It started with Jacob Sniffin (Hawaii) scoring the game’s first run after being driven in by Mason Crews (Kansas State), Tanner Craig (Evansville) and Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) who all got on base with one down. Then it was James Gargano (Butler) launching the MoonDogs first home run of the season in grand slam fashion.

Mankato extended their lead to seven in the third with three more hits to plate two runs. After Craig led off the inning with a base knock, Casagrande came up with the MoonDogs second round tripper of the season.

Willmar answered back in the bottom half with their first run of the game. It was an RBI double off the bat of their DH Cal Elvers (Miami – Ohio). After three, the score was 7-1 in favor of the MoonDogs.

The Stingers scored two more runs in the fifth with help from three hits. Elvers got it started again, this time with a single to score one. Patrick Bordewick (Concordia St. Paul) would do the same, decreasing the MoonDog lead to 7-3 with an RBI single of his own.

A few walks along with a balk mixed in led the MoonDogs, Taylor Jackson (Kirkwood CC), to score their eighth run of the game. The score was 8-3 following the top half of the sixth.

Willmar responded in the next half inning with another run to hang in the game. A one-out double by James Gamble (Nevada – Las Vegas) led to the Stingers fourth run of the game.

It was all Stingers from that point on, as Willmar plated another four runs to even the score at 8-8 in the bottom of the seventh. Three hits, including John Trousdale’s (Alabama) two-RBI single, which closed the gap by evening the score.

In the eighth, Willmar got their ninth run to take a 9-8 lead. A pair of leadoff singles followed up by two wild pitches resulted in the Stingers winning run crossing the plate as Mankato couldn’t get the run back in the top half of the ninth.


Player Notables:

Casagrande led the offensive charge going 3-3 with a home run and three RBI.

Trevor Divinski (Minnesota State) was the starting pitcher for the Stingers. He went four innings, allowing eight hits, seven runs, a walk and three strikeouts. He was relieved by Luke DeGrammont (Concordia St. Paul) who pitched 2.2 innings giving up three hits, a run, four strikeouts and struck out one batter. Earning the win was John Bezdicek (Southwest Minnesota State) who came in to pitch the final 2.1 innings for Willmar. He walked one batter and struck out six others.

Tyler Lesley (Angelo State) started on the bump for Mankato. He pitched five innings allowing nine hits for three runs, a walk and three strikeouts in the no decision. Jaxon Passino (Kansas State) came in for relief work in the sixth and surrendered five runs on four hits, he also walked three and struck out one. Shane Barringer (Bellarmine) was handed the loss after allowing the winning run in his 1.1 innings of work. He surrendered three hits and a walk while striking out three Willmar batters.


Due up for the Dogs:

Up next for the MoonDogs is the Thunder Bay Border Cats tomorrow night in Canada. Tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 7:35 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.