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Published On: July 10th, 2021

Photo taken by Mansoor Ahmad/Mankato MoonDogs

By: Connor Wachtel

MANKATO, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs (28-10) dropped their first contest in over a week to the Eau Claire Express (15-22) 6-2, Saturday at ISG Field. 


The MoonDogs tallied one run in the second and third inning while suffering their second loss at home of the summer. In 2021, the MoonDogs now own a 17-2 record when competing at ISG Field. 


Eau Claire grabbed the game’s first lead, 3-0, in the opening inning after Carter Graham (Stanford) scored two and Omar Gastelum (Santa Barbara) added another with RBI doubles.  


In the bottom of the second inning, Kole Kaler’s (Texas A&M) sacrifice fly to center was hit deep enough to score Jack Costello (San Diego). After two innings in Mankato, the Express led the MoonDogs 3-1. 


In the third inning, Evan Berkey (Evansville) pulled a no-doubt solo home run to left that was a solo shot and made it a 3-2 game. 


The Express went on to score three more unanswered runs by the end of Saturday’s affair en route to a 6-2 victory. 


Eau Claire outhit Mankato 10-5 in the game that saw the MoonDogs come down with the contest’s only pair of errors.  


Eau Claire’s starter, and winning pitcher, was Garrett Reisz (Creighton). Reisz allowed four hits and surrendered a pair of runs while walking four and striking out three while moving to a 2-2 record in 2021. Entering the game in a seventh-inning save situation, Luke Trahan (Dallas Baptist) entered to pitch and closed out the game with three scoreless innings for his second save of the summer. 


On the hill making his first start of the summer for the MoonDogs, the loss went to Kolby Gartner (St. Thomas), who fell to 2-1. Gartner worked his way through 4.1 innings while allowing four runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out four. 


The MoonDogs rematch the Express with the series finale scheduled for 5:05 p.m., Sunday at ISG 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 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.