By Connor Wachtel
Willmar, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs fell in the first game of a home and home series with the Willmar Stingers on the road Sunday night. The final score was 8-2 after the Stingers offense was too much for the MoonDogs relief arms.
BOX SCORE: Willmar 8, Mankato 2
A sacrifice fly for the Stingers hit by Sam Baier (Augustana) scored the game’s first run in the fifth. It gave the Stingers a 1-0 lead.
The Stingers added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth. A walk with the bases loaded scored the first and was followed up by a single from Kaden Fowler (Georgia) that scored the other to make it 3-0 Wilmar.
The MoonDogs got on the board in the top half of the seventh when Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) hit in his college teammate, Dayton Dooney (Arizona), to put Mankato within two.
Willmar added four to their lead in response in the bottom half of the seventh. A defensive miscue plated the first run and then Brandon Bohning (CSU – Northridge) launched a three-run home run to make it 7-1.
Mankato scored another in the eighth when Adan Fernandez (FIU) drove in Cuba Bess (Grand Canyon) after an infield putout. It shrunk Willmar’s lead to 7-2 as the eighth inning came to a close.
Justin King (Alabama) drove in the Stingers final run with a base knock to score Baier in the eighth. It made the game 8-2 which ended up being the final as the Dogs couldn’t muster up any runs in the ninth.
Dooney led Mankato on offense, with a 2-4 night and he scored a run.
The win went to Stingers starter Christopher Peres (La Verne). He pitched seven innings, surrendering a run and four hits. He walked one and struck out five.
MoonDogs Starter Carter Rustad (San Diego) was handed the loss. He pitched five complete innings allowing a run and three hits. He struck out eight Stingers hitters while only walking two.
Due up for the Dogs:
Tomorrow the Mankato MoonDogs (19-22) head back to The Frank to play host to the Willmar Stingers (24-17) and wrap up the home and home series. The probable arm for the Dogs is Nick Hull (Grand Canyon). He will deliver the first pitch at 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.