By Connor Wachtel
Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs notched their 4th straight win on Monday night to complete the sweep of the Bismarck Larks. The Dogs got their offense started in the fourth and didn’t look back, running away with an offensively explosive 16-3 win.
BOX SCORE: Mankato 16, Bismarck 3
The Larks got the scoring started with a pair in the fourth. However, the MoonDogs quickly responded with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning. An RBI double from Tanner Craig (Evansville) got the scoring started. Then it was Taylor Jackson (Kirkwood CC) and Ben Rowdon (Gardner-Webb) each claiming an RBI to put the Dogs up 3-2 after four frames at The Frank.
The sixth frame saw four more runs for the home team. Dayton Dooney (Arizona) got it started with a double to score two. Sky-Lar Culver (Arkansas State) slapped a one bagger to score Dooney and make it 6-2. With two outs, James Gargano (Butler) took a free pass and RBI with a bases-loaded walk. It was 7-3 after six innings for the MoonDogs.
Bismarck notched another point in the eighth with a solo shot, but it would not phase Mankato. In the bottom half of the inning, Rowdon decided to blow the game wide open with, The Frank’s first round tripper of the season, a grand slam over the left field wall. A walk to score a run, a single and a bases-clearing triple came together to plate the other nine runs. The MoonDogs owned a 16-3 lead after eight, where it would stand for the final.
Turning in the notable offensive performance for the Dogs was Rowdon who recorded five RBI in the game, going 2-5 with a double and a grand slam.
Earning the win was Brett Newberg (Austin Peay). Newberg pitched seven innings, allowing six hits and two runs. He also handed out three walks and eight strikeouts. Cole Hoskins (Grand Canyon) came in for relief in the eighth frame and allowed a run and a hit, he also struck out one. Trevor Smisek (Saint Leo) pitched in the ninth, he surrendered a walk but also struck out another.
The Larks starting southpaw, Brian Leonhardt, threw four frames on the bump for Bismarck. Allowing three hits for six runs, Leonhardt surrendered one walk and struck out five MoonDog batters.
Due up for the Dogs:
Up next for the Mankato MoonDogs (8-6) is the St. Cloud Rox (7-7) for two games tomorrow in a double header. Game times are set for 1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud, Minn.
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.