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Published On: July 10th, 2021

By: Mitchell Speltz

WATERLOO, Iowa – The Mankato MoonDogs (28-9) stayed undefeated in the second half by sweeping the Great Plains East First Half Champions Waterloo Bucks (23-15) with a 9-6 win on Friday night.

The Bucks scored first with a fielder’s choice in the opening inning to take a 1-0 lead.

It wouldn’t take long for the MoonDogs to have a counterpunch as Austin Garret (Kansas State) collected an RBI double to score Josh Urps (Cal-State Fullerton). And then it was Carson Yates (UCLA) bringing in Garrett with an RBI knock of his own to make 2-1 after two innings.

The score would remain the same until the fifth inning when the MoonDogs broke the game open with a four-run frame. Jack Costello (San Diego) doubled the right-field line with the bases loaded to score two, making it 4-1. Following him was Adrian Torres (Grand Canyon) who brought in another run with a sacrifice fly. To finish it off it was Mankato’s RBI leader Matt Higgins (Bellarmine) who scored Costello with a run-scoring double down the left-field line to up the lead to 6-1.

Waterloo scored twice to cut the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the frame but that’s as close as they’d get.

Mankato scored three more runs in the sixth without a hit as three batters were walked and then three consecutive hit batters forced in all the runs in the innings.

Nolan Pender (Bellarmine) came up with his third straight win as a starter on the day he was named an all-star as he went five innings in the game. John Lundgren (North Alabama) relieved him for the next 2.1 innings followed by Ben Elder (Angelo State) who finished the game with a five-out to save to secure a 9-6 win for the MoonDogs.

Mankato has now won seven consecutive games, matching their season-high and now they look to extend that streak as they return home to host the Eau Claire Express for a weekend series. First pitch on Saturday 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 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.