Photo taken by Mansoor Ahmad/Mankato MoonDogs
By: Connor Wachtel
MANKATO, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs (44-24) suffered a defeat, 9-6, at the hands of the Rochester Honkers (30-36) to conclude the 2021 Northwoods League regular season, Saturday night at ISG Field.
The MoonDogs found themselves with a 3-0 lead following the first inning thanks to an RBI double off the bat of Matt Higgins (Bellarmine) and a two-run knock from Max Crabbe (Texas State). After one inning of baseball at ISG Field, the MoonDogs led the Honkers 3-0.
In the third inning, the Honkers rallied to score five runs and grab their first lead of the evening. In response, the MoonDogs tied the game at five.
Between the sixth and seventh innings, the Honkers reclaimed the lead and never looked back after plating a run in the sixth and three in the seventh.
The MoonDogs scored one more run in the ninth to come within three of the Honkers. However, the Honkers escaped victorious to snap a five-game losing streak.
Mankato and Rochester tied in the hits column 9-9. The Honkers finished the contest with the game’s only three errors in the field.
In the ballgame, the host MoonDogs outhit the Honkers, 11-7. Mankato battled defensive miscues most of the night with four errors while Rochester finished the night with no mishaps defensively.
The win in the season finale went to Rochester’s Patrick Williams (Lipscomb) as he worked three and two-thirds of an inning to secure his fifth victory of the summer, moving to a 5-0 record in 2021.
Nate Kujawski (Sierra College) allowed the final go-ahead run in the contest to come down with the loss. Making his first and final appearance was MoonDogs’ starting pitcher for a night Dalton Hoffman (Bethany Lutheran College). In a non-decisive outing, Hoffman worked five complete innings allowing seven hits and five runs. He walked three and struck out five along the way.
The Mankato MoonDogs conclude the 2021 regular season with a 44-24 record overall. Starting Sunday, the MoonDogs begin a playoff series vs. the St. Cloud Rox (50-18). Game one at ISG Field is scheduled as a 5:05 p.m. first pitch.
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.