MoonDogs Return to Win Column With Offensive Outburst Against the Larks
By: Mitchell Speltz
BISMARCK, N.D. – After dropping the series finale to the St. Cloud Rox on Thursday, the Mankato MoonDogs (22-9) quickly got back on track with an 11-4 win over the Bismarck Larks (18-15) on the road.
Mankato got on the board first in the second inning as the bottom of the order ignited a two-out rally. After Alex Baeza (Hawaii) drew a walk and Luke Beckstein (Kansas State) singled, Carson Yates (UCLA) doubled into the right-field corner to bring both runners home. The very next batter, Josh Urps (Cal-State Fullerton) traded places with him as he came up with a double of his own to make it 3-0.
In the fourth innings, the Moondogs broke the game open. Urps delivered with another RBI base hit. Matt Higgins (Bellarmine) followed that up with a two-run double to the corner to make it 6-0, his NWL-best 13th two-bagger of the season. And to finish off the inning, Justin Boyd (Oregon State) launched a tape measure job over the left-field wall for his first home run, driving in two to make it 8-0.
That would be plenty for Mankato starter Nolan Pender (Bellarmine) who threw 6.2 innings of shutout baseball with a season-best 9 strikeouts as he went on to earn his third win of the summer. As a result, Pender received league honors as the NWL Pitcher of the Night for his efforts on the hill, Friday.
The Larks came up with a major threat in the eighth inning as they scored four runs, but Carson Yates (UCLA) struck out Kamron Willman (Kansas State) with the bases loaded and the tying run in the on-deck circle to end the threat.
The MoonDogs would add a pair of insurance runs in the ninth for good measure as they locked up their fourth win in five games on the road trip.
Luke Young (Midland College) gets the call on Saturday for Mankato as they look to take the first two games of this four-game series against Bismarck. First pitch is at 6:35 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 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.