MoonDogs Drop First Game of Road Trip to the Express in Eau Claire
By: Connor Wachtel
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – The Mankato MoonDogs (30-13) dropped their first game of a four-game road trip prior to the All-Star break 9-3 to the Eau Claire Express (18-25), Thursday at Carson Park.
The Express got things started when they scored four runs in the bottom of the third on an RBI double, a pair of bases-loaded walks and a base knock.
The MoonDogs responded with two runs in the fourth thanks to a sacrifice fly via Evan Berkey (Evansville) and an RBI single from Cole Andavolgyi (UNLV). Mankato added their third and final run in the fifth by way of another sac fly hit by Berkey. After five innings at Carson Park, the MoonDogs trailed the Express 4-3.
Eau Claire rallied off five more runs in the bottom of the fifth in response and held on until the end to secure a win in game one, 9-3.
Hits wrapped up in favor of the Express 9-6 while they also led in the errors department with two miscues to the MoonDogs’ one.
The win was earned by Jack Brown (Minnesota State) as he moved to 3-1 in 2021 while MoonDogs right-handed pitcher Kolby Gartner (St. Thomas) got the start before falling to a 2-2 record with the loss.
The MoonDogs rematch the Express, Thursday at Carson Park with the series finale slated for 7:05 p.m., before heading to Duluth to take on the Huskies, July 17-18, prior to the All-Star break in Mankato.
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.