MoonDogs Overcome Bucks for Split Thanks to Six-Run Sixth Inning
By: Connor Wachtel
MANKATO, Minn. – Behind a six-run sixth inning, The Mankato MoonDogs (37-18) upended the Waterloo Bucks (33-22) 6-5 in a Northwoods League contest, Friday night at ISG Field.
A massive, six-run sixth inning that saw the MoonDogs score on four bases-loaded walks, a wild pitch and a base knock, alongside some solid pitching, provided an edge the MoonDogs needed to get back into the win column with the 6-5 victory.
After the MoonDogs cracked the score column in game one of the series, Thursday, the Bucks grabbed the first lead in the finale by scoring on a fielder’s choice play in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, Waterloo added one more run for insurance with an RBI single slapped to right by Josh Kasevich (Oregon) made it a 2-0 game in favor of the Bucks.
Thanks to a bases-loaded walk drawn by Matt Higgins (Bellarmine), an RBI single from Jacob Wilson (Grand Canyon), a second RBI walk to Jack Costello (San Diego), a wild pitch and another pair of bases-loaded walks, the MoonDogs scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to grab a 6-2 lead.
In the seventh, the Bucks scored three runs to come within one of the MoonDogs, 6-5. However, the MoonDogs held it there until the very end thanks to holds in relief from John Lundgren (North Alabama) and Thomas Bruss (Augustana) as well as Vince Reilly (Grand Canyon) earning his fifth save of the summer in the ninth.
Despite being outhit 10-7, the MoonDogs prevailed and moved to a 22-6 record at home in 2021. While neither side had an error in the contest, walks riddled both sides. Waterloo finished the night with seven free passes handed out as opposed to Mankato’s five on the evening.
Earning the win to move to a 3-3 record in 2021 was MoonDogs’ starting southpaw Owen Boerema (Northwestern – St. Paul). Boerema got it done with six innings of work under his belt where he gave up four hits for just a pair of runs, he walked four while striking out five along the way.
Following a two-day break, the Mankato MoonDogs return to ISG Field to play host to the Minnesota Mud Puppies (5-23), Monday and Wednesday 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.