By Connor Wachtel
St. Cloud, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs split a doubleheader with the St. Cloud Rox on Tuesday. The afternoon game went the MoonDogs way in a 12-3 final. The night game, which was paused just before the sixth for a weather delay and later called, went to the Rox in a 1-0 decision.
GAME ONE BOX SCORE: Mankato 12, St. Cloud 3
It was the MoonDogs finding themselves with an early 4-0 lead after the top half of the first in game one. Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) got it started with a bases-loaded double to score the first two for the Dogs. Peter Brookshaw (North Dakota State) knocked the two guys in scoring position in during the next at bat, upping Mankato’s early lead to 4-0. The Rox responded in the bottom of the first with a run when Garret Nielsen (California-Berkeley) singled to score Ben Carew (Kent State). It was 4-1 after one in St. Cloud.
Dayton Dooney added two more runs to the board for Mankato in the second. The base knock scored Nick Novak (Angelo State) and Jacob Sniffin (Hawaii). Dooney then scored when Sky-Lar Culver (Arkansas State) rolled over a pitch for a 4-3 putout. It was 7-1 in favor of the MoonDogs after two frames.
The MoonDogs plated another run in the fourth. It was Culver advancing home to score on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 8-1.
Alex Dorethy (Western Illinois) walked to force in Dooney for the first run of the fifth. Casagrande followed up the free pass by blowing the game wide open in a situation very similar to the one he had in the first. Again, it was with the bases loaded, he doubled however, unlike his first at bat, his one in the fifth cleared the bases for three more RBI. Mankato held a massive 12-1 lead after the fifth.
In the eighth, a pair of doubles for the Rox scored a pair of runs. It shrunk the deficit to 12-3 where the game would ultimately finish.
Casagrande led the way in game one with five RBI and a 3-5 line that saw two doubles and a run scored.
Earning his first win of the season was Nick Schmidt (Missouri State) who pitched six innings on the hill for the Dogs. The right-handed starter spotted the Rox three hits and a run. In the walks and strikeouts department he split it up with four a piece. Conner Campbell (Lander) relieved Schmidt in the seventh. He finished out the game allowing a pair of hits and runs (neither earned). He walked two and struck out two.
Handed the loss was St. Cloud’s starter, Richie Holetz (Nebraska – Omaha), he pitched into the second. Only getting three outs, he surrendered seven runs, six hits and walked two.
GAME TWO BOX SCORE: St. Cloud 1, Mankato 0
In game two, the Rox got out in front first in the fourth. Brady Harlan (Oklahoma) got on with a leadoff double and was followed up by Hance Smith (California – Berkeley) who did the same, by doubling, to score the game’s first run. The Rox held a 1-0 lead after the fourth until the game was called following the fifth inning when a lightning delay was issued and turned the official score to final score in favor of St. Cloud.
Earning the win was St. Cloud’s RJ Martinez (Minot State) who threw all five frames in the shutout. He allowed one hit and struck out four MoonDog batters.
Jacob Nagel (Bellarmine was handed the loss for giving up one run over the span of the game’s five innings. He surrendered seven hits and struck out three Rox batters.
Due up for the Dogs:
Up next for the Mankato MoonDogs (9-7) is the Eau Claire Express (7-8) back at home. The probable starter for the Dogs tomorrow is right-hander Trent Baker (Angelo State). First pitch between the MoonDogs and Express is slated for 6:35 p.m. at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato, 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.