By: Connor Wachtel
Mankato, Minn. — The Mankato MoonDogs didn’t look back after blasting a leadoff home run to get scoring started Wednesday night. They upended the Waterloo Bucks, 5-3, and salvaged the two-game series split.
Zach Kokoska got the MoonDogs rolling Wednesday night. Just four pitches in, the Dogs right fielder got around on one and blasted it off the Franklin Rogers Park videoboard for his first home run of the summer. It put Mankato up 1-0 through one at The Frank.
Back-to-back wild pitches in the fourth allowed Tanner Craig and Michael Curialle to score. Kokoska came across in the same at bat when the MoonDogs leader in hits, Zach Gilles, blooped a base hit to left. Dylan Phillips recorded his first RBI of the summer and made it 5-0 when he drove in the MoonDogs’ right fielder later in the inning.
In the fourth inning, Tanner Craig slid in head first to score the MoonDogs’ second run Thursday night. (Image shot by Mansoor Ahmad)
Waterloo responded with a run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. However, it wasn’t enough for the MoonDogs five runs in the first four frames and the game ended 5-3 with the MoonDogs upping their record to 2-9.
The box score saw the MoonDogs outhit the Bucks 8-6. Both teams were efficient in the field with no errors.
The loss went to Waterloo’s Nolan Meredith. He pitched three innings as the Bucks’ starter and surrendered three runs on six hits.
Earning the win was MoonDogs starter, Deylen Miley. Despite early run support, Miley was solid in his second start with Mankato. He went five complete innings, was hit off three times for a run and struck out six while walking one. Thomas Bruss garnered a save for his work on the hill Wednesday night. Bruss pitched the ninth and faced four Bucks batters and allowed only a walk.
For tonight’s box score click HERE.
The MoonDogs (2-9) make their first trip to Rochester, Minn., tomorrow to take on the Honkers (2-6) the next two nights. The series, at Mayo Field, begins with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch Thursday night.
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.