MoonDogs Sweep Bucks in Two-Day Doubleheader
By Connor Wachtel
Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs completed another series sweep of the Waterloo Bucks on Friday. A rain delay on Thursday pushed all but a third of game one to Friday. Then, both teams still completed game two with its original start time. The games ended 11-1 and 18-4 in favor of Mankato.
GAME ONE BOX SCORE: Mankato 11, Waterloo 1
On Thursday night, Waterloo got on the board first with a one-out single and a walk to put guys on first and second. After a double steal attempt by the Bucks, the throw down to third sailed into leftfield and scored an unearned run to give the Bucks a 1-0 lead after the top of the second.
As the Bucks took the field for the bottom half of the second, the game went into a weather delay at The Frank.
The teams returned from the break to play the bottom half of the second. The MoonDogs capitalized on their second chance to bat with a triple from Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) to score one and a sacrifice fly that followed it up to score another. The final run of the frame scored when a steal attempt of second allowed Damon Maynard (Olney Central CC) to swipe home. Mankato held a 3-1 lead as the team’s headed into the third.
With one out in the top half of the third, more severe weather headed The Frank’s way and the teams were again called off the field for another delay. Shortly after, the game was rescheduled to resume the following day at 4:05 p.m. as part of a doubleheader.
Play resumed on Friday and it was all MoonDogs on the offense side of the final six innings at The Frank.
Casagrande notched three more RBI in the bottom half of the third. Then, Jake Moberg (UCLA) and Nick Novak (Angelo State) each roped doubles to bring the Dogs lead to 8-1 after the third frame.
A sacrifice fly hit by Cuba Bess (Grand Canyon) scored Moberg to up the Dogs lead to 9-1.
Mankato plated their final two runs of game in the bottom of the sixth to win by a final score of 11-1.
Game One Player Notables:
Leading the charge offensively was Casagrande going 5-3 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored.
Brett Newberg (Austin Peay) pitched 2.1 innings on Thursday night before the game was officially moved to Friday evening. He surrendered one unearned run that was unearned and allowed three hits. Newberg walked one and struck out two in the no decision. Fabian Muniz (Angelo State) relived Newberg the following day and pitched 3.2 innings to claim the win. He allowed a hit, two walks and struck out three.
For Waterloo, Drew Zimmerman (BYU) did the pitching as the starter on Thursday night. Working two innings, he was handed the loss after surrendering three runs (two earned) on three hits. He walked and struck out one.
GAME TWO BOX SCORE: Mankato 18, Waterloo 4
Waterloo got on the board first again in game two with a run in the second. It came when Kyler Arenado (UC – Davis) roped a single to give the Bucks a 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom half, The MoonDogs had other plans for how game two would play out as they went on to plate seven runs and make it 7-1. Moberg drove in two to get it started with a single. Then Bess roped a double up the opposite field line to score three as he cleared the bases. Elvir put more salt in the wound of Waterloo with a two-run home run to finish off the second-inning scoring for the Dogs. Elvir’s 7th round tripper of the summer gave Mankato a 7-1 lead.
The Bucks plated another run in the third only to surrender another three to the Dogs in the bottom half. Novak slapped a single to score two and Bess rounded the total up to 10 with a sac fly that scored Garrett Gilbert (Creighton). It was 10-2 after three at The Frank.
Waterloo continued the trend in the fourth with another run via an infield putout to shrink the game to a 10-3 deficit.
Again in the fourth, the Bucks scored with Arenado rolling one up for an RBI putout.
In the bottom half, the Dogs cancelled it out with a run of their own off a wild pitch. It was an 11-4 lead favoring the MoonDogs after four in Mankato.
After Waterloo scored another lone run in the fifth, The Dogs had another response. It was Bess with another RBI single to make it 12-4 after five complete.
Six more runs came across in the sixth for the Dogs. Elvir smashed his 2nd home run of the night in the mix. It was the end of the scoring in an 18-4 final in favor of Mankato.
Game Two Player Notables:
Novak led the way in game two with a 3-5 batting line that saw five RBI and three runs scored.
Earning the win for the Dogs was Nick Schmidt (Missouri State). Schmidt pitched five complete innings in his final outing of the summer for the Dogs. He was hit off five times for four runs and walked three and struck out five. Jack Pilcher (Butler) and Shane Barringer (Bellarmine) each took an inning to close out the final two frames of the seven-inning affair.
The loss was handed to Peyton Fuller (Oregon) after he pitched two complete innings. He allowed seven runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out three.
Due up for the Dogs:
Up next for the Mankato MoonDogs (24-26) is the Bismarck Larks (24-26) on the road. Josh Ramirez (Washburn) will do the pitching for the Dogs. The game is slated for 6:05 p.m. at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark in Bismarck, N.D.
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.