By Connor Wachtel
Waterloo, Iowa – After an inauspicious start to the season, the Mankato MoonDogs have been barking over the last three games. Fresh off a two-game sweep of Thunder Bay, the Dogs went into Waterloo looking to keep their winning ways going, and that is exactly what they did, in a 7-5 victory on Monday night.
BOX SCORE: Mankato 7, Waterloo 5
The Dogs got hot early, as Taylor Jackson (Kirkwood CC) and Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) led off with back to back singles, followed by an error that allowed Tanner Craig (Evansville) to reach. Sky-Lar Culver (Arkansas State) brought Jackson home with a sacrifice fly, and after a Mason Crews (Kansas State) single, Ben Rowdon (Gardner-Webb) brought two home with a sharp single into left field.
Waterloo didn’t go quietly though, as Caleb Littlejim (Kansas State) blasted a two-run home run, and in the second inning the Bucks put up three straight hits with two outs to take a 4-3 lead.
Mankato took their lead back in the fourth though, when Craig singled in Jackson. A long double by Culver followed it up to score Craig.
Mankato added to their lead in the sixth when Damon Maynard (Olney Central CC) singled in a run to make the score 6-4.
Once again however, Waterloo pushed back as Matthew Campos (Hawaii) doubled in a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it a one run game once again.
The score stayed that way until the top of the eighth inning, when Culver jacked a monster home run off the top of the fence in right field, giving the Dogs a 7-5 lead, which is where the game would stay.
Culver kept it going tonight, going 2-4 with a run scored and three RBI. Maynard, who had struggled offensively, broke out with two big singles and a stolen base. As a result, he was named player of the game.
Conner Campbell (Lander) was brilliant in three innings of relief, notching the save. Brett Newberg’s (Austin Peay) six inning effort gave him the win in his 2019 MoonDogs debut.
Due up for the Dogs:
The Dogs get right back in action tomorrow night for their second game of the two-game series with Waterloo at 6:05 p.m. as Nick Schmidt (Missouri State) takes to the hill to try and keep the win streak going. Mankato will also get some reinforcement in the bullpen as Hayden Juenger (Missouri State) joins the team for tomorrow’s game.
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 www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.