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Published On: June 26th, 2019

By Connor Wachtel

Eau Claire, Wis. – The Mankato MoonDogs took game two, the series finale, against the Eau Claire Express to claim the split with a 4-2 win on Wednesday.


BOX SCORE: Mankato 4, Eau Claire 2

Quick offense for the MoonDogs saw a pair of runs score in the first. A leadoff single by Nick Novak (Angelo State) set him up to eventually steal second base. Then, after an error by the Express catcher, Novak advanced to third. Cuba Bess (Grand Canyon) took a free pass to bring Mikey Perez (UCLA) to the plate with runners on the corners. Perez scored Novak with a single to plate Mankato’s first run. A few batters later another error by Eau Claire allowed the MoonDogs second run to cross the plate, it was Bess. Mankato held a 2-0 lead after the first.

Mankato plated an insurance run in the fourth when a wild pitch with the bases loaded scored James Gargano (Butler). That gave the Dogs a 3-0 lead after the fourth.

In the sixth, Tanner Craig (Evansville) left the yard with a solo home run to add another for the Dogs. Mankato held a 4-0 lead after the sixth.

The Express began to mount a comeback in the ninth but were held to only two runs and the MoonDogs split the series after winning 4-2 on Wednesday.


Player Notables:

Leading the Mankato offense was Perez who seemed to take over the series. After notching a 3-5 batting line that saw a home run and three RBI totaled up on Tuesday night, he went 2-3 with an RBI and a walk on Wednesday night.

Earning the win, going an impressive eight innings, was Nick Schmidt (Missouri State). Schmidt allowed only two hits, walked one and struck out nine. Jacob Nagel (Bellarmine) took over in the ninth and surrendered the two runs to the Express but held on to give Mankato the win.

The loss was handed to Eau Claire’s starting arm, Matt Verdun (Lewis), after he went three innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits. Verdun walked a pair and struck out six.


Due up for the Dogs:

The Mankato MoonDogs (13-17) head back to The Frank to host the Rochester Honkers (16-12) tomorrow. First pitch from the Dogs starter, Trent Baker (Angelo State), is scheduled for 7:05 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 or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.