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MoonDogs Ninth-Inning Rally Comes Up Short in St. Cloud, Head to Waterloo Tomorrow

By: Connor Wachtel

St. Cloud, Minn. —  The Mankato MoonDogs struggled to get hits when it mattered Monday. Despite totaling double digits in hits, the MoonDogs lost 3-2 in St. Cloud to the Rox.

The MoonDogs batted a season-high 11 hits Monday, but it was not enough to record their second win of the season. They lost 3-2, scoring two runs in a ninth-inning rally, and fell to 1-8 on the season.

The Moondogs have yet to overcome the Rox this season, they’re winless in three games against St. Cloud. (Image Captured by Mansoor Ahmad)

Jordan Barth slapped a sacrifice fly that brought Ben Norman in to score just four batters into Monday’s game at The Rock Pile in St. Cloud, Minn. The run was unearned to Mankato’s starter, Jared Milch, who was making his MoonDogs debut. The Rox held a 1-0 lead before extending it in the fourth.

Rox right fielder, Collin Montez, made it 2-0 in the fourth with a solo home run to left.

Another St. Cloud run came across in the fifth when Cody Kelly scored on a bases-loaded single to center from Nick Marinconz. MoonDogs reliever escaped the jam behind back-to-back strikeouts. The Rox led 3-0 through five innings.

In their final breathe, Mankato got going offensively with a one-out double, pinch hit by Maddux Houghton. Two batters later, Zach Gilles contributed by beating out an infield single down the left-field line. Mason Hull, trying to repeat on last Friday’s feat where he hit a walk-off double into the alley, singled to bring the Dogs within two. Zach Kokoska did his job in the rally with another RBI single to bring the dogs within one, but that’s where it would stand as Mankato dropped its’ second straight game, 3-2.

The Rox, now 5-5 overall, finished the night with six hits. Both sides had one error at Joe Faber Field Monday night.

Landen Bourassa was credited with the win for the Rox. He pitched three innings in relief and was hit off three times. Bourassa walked one and struck out four. Rox closer, Blake Stelzer, did enough to close out the Rox win. Stelzer allowed four hits and two runs in the ninth but was able to get the third out for his second save of the season.

Despite a good debut outing with the MoonDogs, the loss went to Milch. He went four complete innings allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits. He struck out a pair along the way.

For tonight’s box score click HERE.

Tomorrow, the Mankato MoonDogs (1-8) head back to Iowa for the first game of a home -and-home series against the Waterloo Bucks (7-4). First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. at Riverfront Stadium.

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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 www.mankatomoondogs.com 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.