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Published On: July 23rd, 2021

Photo taken by Mansoor Ahmad/Mankato MoonDogs

By: Connor Wachtel

MANKATO, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs (34-15) mustered five extra-base hits to storm past the Eau Claire Express (20-27) with a 9-5 win, Friday at ISG Field.  


Mankato’s shortstop Jacob Wilson (Grand Canyon) shined in what was the MoonDogs fourth consecutive victory, he went 3-for-5 with a three-run home run and a total of four RBI. 


The MoonDogs put up the first pair of runs in the opening frame on a sacrifice fly to left hit by Matt Higgins (Bellarmine) before Wilson singled to right to make it a 2-0 game by scoring Luke Beckstein (Kansas State). 


In the fifth inning, Higgins slapped a ground-rule double to left-center that scored one before Wilson launched his first home run of the summer to left, scoring three runs and making it a 6-0 ballgame. 


After the Express hit a two-run home run in the sixth, Carson Yates (UCLA) provided an insurance run by putting himself in position to score on a sacrifice fly hit by Justin Boyd (Oregon State) in the sixth. 


The seventh inning saw the Express rally to score three runs before the MoonDogs responded with a pair of extra-base RBI knocks from Adrian Torres (Grand Canyon) and Garrett. After seven innings at ISG Field, the MoonDogs led the Express 9-5. 


The game ultimately finished with Mankato coming out on top 9-5. Hits wrapped up in favor of the host MoonDogs 13-9 while the Express concluded the contest with the game’s only pair of errors. 


MoonDogs starting pitcher, Nolan Pender (Bellarmine), hauled in the win to move to 6-1 in 2021. Pender pitched six innings surrendering five runs on eight hits while striking out five and never giving up a walk. 


The loss went to Jack Brown (Minnesota State) as he fell to 3-2 after throwing five complete innings and allowing six runs. Along the way, Brown gave up nine hits while walking one and retiring four on strikes. 


Next up, the Mankato MoonDogs hit the road for four games with two-game series’ against St. Cloud and Duluth. Up first, the MoonDogs are headed to Joe Faber Field to take on the St. Cloud Rox at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, before a 4:05 p.m. finale on Sunday. 



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.