MoonDogs Finish Season on Losing Streak After Facing Bucks, Thursday

By: Connor Wachtel

Waterloo, Iowa — The Mankato MoonDogs (17-25) dropped their fifth straight game, 15-6, to close out the 2020 campaign at Riverfront Stadium against the Waterloo Bucks (28-13), Thursday.

The Bucks mustered five multi-run innings en route to the win that clinched them a Northwoods League Regional Championship. After the MoonDogs scored first in the opening frame, the Bucks took over with four and then seven unanswered runs for the win.

The scoring started with Drew Stahl launching a two-run home run to left to score Patrick Timmer. It made it a 2-0 advantage for the MoonDogs after the first inning.

Jake Hillmer legged out a bases-loaded fielder’s choice so the Bucks could get on the board when Nathan Bandy crossed the plate to cut the deficit in half in the second. A wild pitch in the next at bat tied the game before the Bucks took the lead on a free pass. The four-run frame rounded out with the Bucks scoring beating out a putout that resulted in a third out in the inning. The Bucks held a 4-2 lead after the second inning.

The MoonDogs cut the deficit in half, 4-3, in the third when Patrick Timmer scored on a wild pitch.

In the fifth, Ryan Guardino doubled off the wall in center and scored Jalen Smith from second for an insurance run. Charley Hesse made it 6-3 with an RBI single that scored Guardino. The lead moved to 7-3 when the Bucks scored again on a wild pitch.

The sixth inning saw Waterloo pull away with four more runs on six hits.

The MoonDogs finished their night of batting scoring three in the seventh to make it an 11-6 ballgame. Michael Curialle brought in the first pair with his fourth home run of the season and third in two nights. In the next at bat, Stahl got around on another pitch for his second home run of the evening and the season. The lead belonged to Waterloo, 15-6, going to the eighth after Waterloo answered with four more runs in the bottom half of the seventh.

The Bucks went on to score two more times in the eighth and comfortably cruised to a 17-6 win.

Waterloo outhit the visiting MoonDogs, 20-8, and finished the night with no errors to Mankato’s four.



Bucks’ starter Duncan Davitt (3-1) got Thursday’s win. Davitt pitched five frames of three-run baseball while allowing five hits. He walked one and struck out two.

The loss went to Christian Johnson (1-3) again in his second start of the week after pitching in Wednesday’s affair at Willmar. Johnson pitched 4.1 innings, surrendered five hits, seven runs (two earned), walked four and struck out five.

For tonight’s box score click HERE.

Following a five-game losing streak, Mankato finishes the 2020 Northwoods League season behind a 17-25 record.

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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 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.