Photo captured by Mansoor Ahmad/Mankato MoonDogs
By: Connor Wachtel
LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Mankato MoonDogs (20-8) grabbed two more wins from the La Crosse Loggers (12-18), Tuesday at Copeland Park
After getting out to a 3-0 lead Monday in La Crosse, mother nature had other plans as inclement weather suspended the game forcing a partial doubleheader to be played on Tuesday. Tuesday saw the MoonDogs add five more runs while allowing just one in the second half of the game. After Mankato won the game 8-1, a close fight saw the MoonDogs prevail over the Loggers with a 5-3 win in eight innings of a seven-inning contest for game two. With the pair of wins the MoonDogs now ride a six-game winning streak following a four-game sweep of the Loggers.
On Monday, Mankato grabbed a 3-0 lead with one run in the first inning and two in the second. In three at bats, Adrian Torres (Grand Canyon) had a single and two RBI. On Tuesday, Torres added another pair of RBI to his line when he hit a sixth-inning two-run home run.
Starting on the hill for the MoonDogs was Blake Reilly (Grand Canyon). Blake Reilly threw 4.1 innings of shutout baseball while allowing one hit. He walked one and had seven strikeouts. After weather halted Blake Reilly’s start Monday, Davonte Butler (Cal State Bakersfield) got the Dogs out of the fifth Tuesday before throwing the sixth inning as well. Carson Hamro (UCLA) threw the seventh and eighth innings en route to his first win for a 1-0 record. In two shutout innings, Hamro gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two.
For the Loggers, Travis Luensmann pitched three innings, allowed five hits and three runs (two earned), walked four and had three strikeouts while taking the loss (2-2).
Matt Higgins (Bellarmine) had the MoonDogs offensive game hitting the ground running in the second game. His no-doubt solo home run to right in the top of the first supplied the first edge for the MoonDogs over the Loggers. Although La Crosse tied the game twice in the bottom of the second and fifth, Mankato had a two-run answer both times to win the second game for a season-high six wins in a row and four-game sweep over La Crosse.
On the mound for the MoonDogs, relief arm Vince Reilly (Grand Canyon) moved to 3-0 this summer after working scoreless seventh and eighth innings for Mankato. Vince Reilly was perfect along the way with five strikeouts.
Up next, the second-place Mankato MoonDogs square off with the Great Plains West division leaders, the St. Cloud Rox, to continue the road stint. First pitch for the series that begins Wednesday is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Joe Faber Field.
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 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.