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Early Runs Propel MoonDogs to Split With Express

Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs defeated the Eau Claire Express on Thursday in a 8-4 final. The win for the Dogs split the two-game series with the Express.

The MoonDogs got out to a very quick start in the first due to insufficient pitching courtesy of the Express. A pass ball, two hit batters and two wild pitches all came together to plate six runs for Mankato off of no hits in the first frame.

Another run was put on the board for the Dogs in the second when Tanner Craig (Evansville) flew out to right to score Nick Novak (Angelo State) via the sacrifice fly. Mankato had a 7-0 lead after two innings.

The Express scored two in the third. Spencer Myers (Notre Dame) scored one with a single which was followed up by fielder’s choice play to score Troy Beilsmith (Evansville). The MoonDogs led the way 7-2 after three with the Express.

Eau Claire scored two more in the fifth. A double from Phillip Sikes (Pima CC) scored another pair to put the Express within three with a 7-4 score.

The MoonDogs notched an insurance run in the seventh when Dayton Dooney (Arizona) popped out to second and was ruled out via the infield fly rule. With the bases loaded, the second baseman dropped the routine fly ball and Taylor Jackson (Kirkwood CC) scored the unearned run on the play. The score was then 8-4, where it would ultimately finish.

Turning in the MoonDogs notable offensive performance was a duo in Novak, who notched two runs scored, a walk and a 1-4 batting line, and Jackson, who went 1-3 with two walks and a run scored.

Earning the win was Tyler Lesley (Angelo State) who went six innings allowing six hits and two earned runs. Lesley also retired five with strikeouts and surrendered two walks. In relief was Alex Dorethy (Western Illinois), he pitched three innings of shutout baseball striking out four in the process. Dorethy earned the rare three-inning save, his third save of the season.

Handed the loss was the Express starter, Tim Ewald (Dallas Baptist), who failed to get an out allowing six runs (five earned) in the loss. He walked three MoonDogs batters in the loss.

The Mankato MoonDogs (10-8) are back at The Frank tomorrow where they will take on the Bismarck Larks (10-8). Jack Schneider (Grand Canyon) is the probable starter for the Dogs. The southpaw is scheduled to make his MoonDogs debut when he throws out the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato, Minn.

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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, over 200 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) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), 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.