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Published On: June 20th, 2021

Photo taken by Mansoor Ahmad (Mankato MoonDogs)

By: Connor Wachtel

MANKATO, Minn. – Father’s Day at ISG Field saw more late-game heroics in favor of the Mankato MoonDogs (12-6) who scored twice in the ninth inning to upend the Rochester Honkers (5-11) 4-3, Sunday at ISG Field. 


Evan Berkey (Cal State Bakersfield) was Mankato’s hero in the ninth. His opposite-field single to right scored Adam Fogel (Hawaii) from third to clinch the MoonDogs fourth straight victory, upping their home record to 10-1 at ISG Field in 2021. 

JJ Cruz gave Rochester the game’s first lead, Sunday night. His bloop single to right with the bases loaded in the second inning scored one to put the Honkers in front, 1-0. Then, Alex Pimentel added another run to extend the Honkers lead to 2-0 with an RBI single up the middle in the third. 


The MoonDogs came within one of the Honkers in the bottom half of the third inning before eventually tying the game 2-2 in the sixth after Berkey scored from second after an errant throw by the Honkers’ third baseman. 


After the Honkers reclaimed the lead in the top of the seventh, the MoonDogs final chance to make something happen saw them show urgency to win the game. Preston Clifford (Washington State) provided the tying run on a wild pitch as a pinch-runner before Berkey slapped the game-winning hit the other way to right which scored Fogel. The MoonDogs were 4-3 walk-off winners Sunday night at ISG Field. 


Mankato prevailed late with three hits and a pair of runs in the ninth. All in all, both sides tied in the hits department with eight knocks while Rochester had the game’s only pair of errors.  

Vince Reilly (Grand Canyon) was the MoonDogs’ winning pitcher in relief after his debut, Sunday. He pitched in the eighth and ninth, posting back-to-back shutout innings with no hits allowed while walking two and striking out three. His brother, Blake Reilly (Grand Canyon) was the MoonDogs starting arm on Father’s Day and threw four frames of two-run baseball. He was hit off seven times while walking and striking out two along the way. 


The loss went to Rochester’s relief pitcher Jay Thompson who blew the save in the ninth. Thompson came in for the eighth before working into the ninth. He surrendered four hits and two runs while walking two and recording one strikeout. 


Up next, the Mankato MoonDogs head to Willmar to take on the Stingers, Monday at 7:05 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’ 27th 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.