By: Connor Wachtel
Mankato, Minn. — The Mankato MoonDogs dropped their first game against the Willmar Stingers of the summer, 13-3, Saturday night at Franklin Rogers Park.
The Stingers got on the board first Saturday after an RBI double hit by Griffin Cheney to score Brooks Lee, giving the visiting Honkers a 1-0 lead. The next half inning saw the MoonDogs one up the Stingers with a pair. Zach Kokoska led off the inning with a double to right and later scored from third on a misplayed ground ball. A Mason Hull single to center made it 2-1 later in the inning when it scored Zach Gilles.
The rest of the evening was bleak for the hosting MoonDogs. The Stringers continued what they started in the third and went on a tear, scoring in each of the next five innings for 12 unanswered runs and a 13-2 lead through eight innings.
MoonDogs right fielder, Zach Kokoska, takes a big swing at The Frank Saturday night. (Picture taken by Mansoor Ahmad)
The MoonDogs mounted a small rally and scored on a sacrifice fly in the ninth, but it was nothing more than minimal shrinkage on the deficit and the MoonDogs fell 13-3 in their first meeting of the season against the Stingers, dropping to a 3-11 record this summer.
Willmar’s starter, John Bezdicek, worked three complete Saturday and was hit off six times for two runs. He walked one and struck out four. In relief, Jonathan Brand got the win. He pitched four frames of no-hit, no-run baseball while striking out two and walking one.
The loss went to Mankato’s reliever, Jarret Krzyzanowski, who pitched in relief of the MoonDogs starter in the fourth. He got the loss despite no hitting the Stingers and allowing two runs that were unearned. Krzyzanowski washed, walking two and striking out two others. Jared Milch, the MoonDogs starter, went 3.1 on the mound, allowed three hits and a run in his second start of the summer.
For tonight’s box score click HERE.
The Mankato MoonDogs (3-11) head to Willmar, Minn., tomorrow for the first time this summer. They will play two against the Stingers (11-2) in a day-night doubleheader. First pitches are slated for 12:05 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. at Bill Taunton Stadium.
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.