MoonDogs Bite for First Win Against Stingers to Split Series

By Connor Wachtel

Willmar, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs slugged their way to a 7-2 victory over the Willmar Stingers on Tuesday at Bill Taunton Stadium. The win marked the first of the season against the Stingers for the MoonDogs and salvaged a series split.


BOX SCORE: Mankato 7, Willmar 2

The MoonDogs got the scoring started on Tuesday night. Mikey Perez (UCLA) slapped a leadoff double to get things started. Then, Sean Ross (Pensacola) continued the trend hitting another double to score Perez. The RBI gave Mankato a 1-0 lead after the top half.

The Stingers were quick to respond with an RBI single from Tyler Bosetti (Nevada) to tie the game before the first inning could come to a close.

In the fourth, the Dogs plated three to take the lead. Jake Moberg (UCLA) doubled down the left field line to score a pair before he ended up scoring off a Willmar defensive miscue. Mankato took a 4-1 lead into the fifth.

The MoonDogs power came alive in the fifth. Adan Fernandez (Nova Southeastern) smashed a solo home run to add one to the score. Then, Dayton Dooney (Arizona) got on with a single before Tanner Craig (Evansville) blasted his 5th home run of the summer. The two round trippers gave Mankato a 7-1 advantage through five frames in Willmar.

The Stingers shrunk the deficit to 7-2 with an RBI double in the eighth. However, that’s all they’d get as the inning came to a close as did the game shortly after.


Player Notables:

Craig swung the hot bat for the Dogs on Tuesday night. He notched a 1-4 line that saw a two-run shot leave Bill Taunton Stadium in the fifth.

In his first start of the summer, the routine reliever, Shane Barringer (Bellarmine) earned his 4th win of the season. Barringer pitched six complete while allowing four hits and a run. He also walked one and struck out five. Dalton Grose (UM – Crookston) came in for the seventh and struck out one en route to getting three outs. Thomas Bruss (Augustana) pitched the eighth and struck out the side, but allowed a run to score. Jack Pilcher (Butler) closed the door in the ninth with a strikeout to retire the final Willmar batter.

The loss went to Willmar’s starting arm, Garret Rukes (Alabama), after he threw five frames. He surrendered seven runs (four earned) on seven hits while walking one and retiring six on strikes.


Due up for the Dogs:

After an off day tomorrow, the Mankato MoonDogs (26-28) host the Rochester Honkers (28-26) on Thursday. The southpaw, fourth-year veteran, Brett Newberg (Austin Peay) is scheduled to do the pitching to begin the two-game series. First pitch is slated 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.