By Connor Wachtel
Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs put an end to their losing streak on Saturday night versus the Rochester Honkers. An explosive inning for the Dogs in the eighth that brought in four runs proved to be the difference en route to the 5-2 final in favor of Mankato.
BOX SCORE: Mankato 5, Rochester 2
The scoring began with the Honkers claiming a one-run lead in the third. Jack Thelen (Univ. of Wis. – Milwaukee) scored after another Rochester player rolled over a pitch for an infield putout.
The MoonDogs responded quickly by loading the bases in the bottom half. Cuba Bess (Grand Canyon) walked the run in with a free pass to score Damon Maynard (Olney Central CC) from third. The score was all even at 1-1 after the third frame in Mankato.
It took until the eighth for another run to come across when Mankato mounted a four-run lead. The scoring started with Tanner Craig (Evansville) roping a shot off the wall in the right field gap. The hit scored Dayton Dooney (Arizona) from second and gave the Dogs a 2-1 lead. Then, Josh Elvir (Angelo State) unloaded on a pitch to launch it over the right field fence. It was a three-run home run and marked his 2nd bomb of the season to give the MoonDogs a 5-1 lead.
Turning in the notable night at the plate for Mankato was Elvir, going 1-4 with the game-winning three-run round tripper.
Earning the win was Jimmy Larson (Minnesota State) who pitched in the eighth and struck out two Rochester batters. In his MoonDogs debut, Carter Rustad (San Diego) went four complete innings allowing one run and a pair of hits. He also dished out a walk and a pair of strikeouts in the no decision.
Handed the loss was Rochester’s Logan Nissen (Bethany) after he pitched a tenth of the eighth inning and surrendered four runs on four hits and walked one.
Due up for the Dogs:
Tomorrow the Mankato MoonDogs (12-15) take on the Rochester Honkers (15-11) for game two in Rochester, Minn. The MoonDogs starting arm will be Nick Hull (Grand Canyon). First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m. at Mayo Field.
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.