By Connor Wachtel
Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs dropped game one with the Eau Claire Express on Wednesday. The game required extra innings where the Express would ultimately win the game 7-4 in 10 innings in Mankato, Minn.
BOX SCORE: Eau Claire 7, Mankato 4
The MoonDogs got on the board first with a moonshot off Tanner Craig’s (Evansville) bat. It was a three-run shot that scored Nick Novak (Angelo State) and Sky-Lar Culver (Arkansas State).
The Express came within two in the third. A sacrifice fly from Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) drove in the run.
The next inning Eau Claire evened the score with a pair. Sam Kohnle (Winona State) plated two with a single. Scoring on the play was Nick Lopez (Illinois – Chicago) and Phillip Sikes (Pima CC).
It took until the extra frames for more scoring to occur. It was Eau Claire scoring four runs in the top of the tenth. Sikes made the difference with a single to score the first two, making it 5-3 for the Express.
In the bottom half it was the Dogs chance. However, Mankato could only plate one with Peter Brookshaw (North Dakota State) driving in Dooney, who was put aboard via the international tie breaker rule. The one run would not be enough as the Dogs fell to the Express 7-4.
Turning in the notable performance for the MoonDogs was Craig who went 2-3 with three RBI and a run scored off his three-run home run that got the scoring started.
Earning the win was Noah Denoyer (San Joaquin Delta). He went four innings allowing only a hit and one run that was unearned. The starter for the Express, Colt Mink (Flagler), went six innings allowing three runs and three hits. He also walked five and struck out six.
On the hill to start for the Dogs was Trent Baker (Angelo State). Going 6.1 innings, he surrendered three runs and 11 hits in the no decision. Baker also retired five Express batters via the strikeout. Handed the loss was Jimmy Larson (Minnesota State), who went 3.2 innings allowing four hits and three earned runs. Larson also struck out one batter.
Due up for the Dogs:
The Mankato MoonDogs (10-7) take on the Eau Claire Express (8-8) again tomorrow at The Frank. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Mankato’s probable starter delivering the first pitch at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato.
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.