Pitcher Quartet Features Trio to Make Return to Mankato for 2020 Season

By Connor Wachtel

Mankato, Minn. — The Mankato MoonDogs have added four new pitchers to their staff for the 2020 season. Three of which are no stranger to Mankato as they make their returns from last season. Among the returners are Carter Rustad, Nick Schmidt, Trent Baker as well as a new MoonDog in Mason Auer.

Carter Rustad – University of San Diego

Rustad, a returning native of Kansas City, Mo., will be back at The Frank this summer after spending the beginning half with the MoonDogs in 2019. Rustad mustered a 2.03 ERA in four starts over 17.2 innings of work last season. He struck out 18, walked 10 and surrendered 12 hits.

Nick Schmidt – Missouri State University

Out of Wentzville, Mo., Schmidt will be back at The Frank for his second season of MoonDogs baseball. Last season, Schmidt pitched his way to a 3-4 mark and a 5.31 ERA. In his eight starts for 40.2 innings, Schmidt struck out 38 batters, which was good for 3rd on the 2019 MoonDogs pitching staff, while only handing out 26 free passes. On June 26, Schmidt led the MoonDogs to a 4-2 win over the Eau Claire Express by throwing a two-hit, eight inning gem. He earned Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night with nine strikeouts over the 27 batters, he faced didn’t surrender a run.

Trent Baker – Angelo State University

Likewise, Baker will also be a Mankato returner in 2020. He is a native of Georgetown, Wash., and comes back from Angelo State University. Last year, Baker went 1-3 with a 2.31 ERA in seven starts. He worked in 42.2 innings and struck out 32 batters. Baker’s last game with Mankato came on July 21 when he worked seven innings of three-hit baseball against the Bismarck Larks. The MoonDogs ultimately won the game 5-2, Baker had three strikeouts and allowed no earned runs.

Mason Auer – Missouri State University

Auer will be new to Mankato out of Missouri State University. He’s a freshman from Springfield, Mo., and will add to the MoonDogs bullpen. He worked three innings for the Bears this spring and surrendered a hit and two runs in just the final appearance of his three games, which each included an inning of work. He totaled five strikeouts and allowed only one extra base hit on the hill.

The Mankato MoonDogs begin their season on May 26, at Franklin Rogers Park when they square off with the Willmar Stingers at 6:35 p.m.


The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods 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, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.