Picture taken by Mansoor Ahmad/Mankato MoonDogs
By: Connor Wachtel
MANKATO, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs (44-25) suffered a shutout, 10-0, at the hands of the St. Cloud Rox (51-18) in the opening game of the 2021 Northwoods League Playoffs, Sunday evening at ISG Field.
After the MoonDogs rallied to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the first inning, their offense was put on mute as the Rox surged on with 10 consecutive runs for a double-digit victory.
The Rox cracked the score column first with a pair of runs in the third inning. Then, in the fifth frame, St. Cloud piled on five more runs before adding three more in the seventh inning.
The Rox won game one of the series, 10-0, while outhitting the MoonDogs 14-2.
Each team’s starting arm finished the contest as the pitcher of record as Rox right-hander Riley Cornelio (Texas Christian) got the win to move to 1-0 in the postseason with 14 strikeouts over seven innings of work. MoonDogs starting arm Owen Boerema (Northwestern, St. Paul) came down with the loss while spanning four and a third innings on the hill.
Now trailing 0-1 in a best-of-three series, the MoonDogs are headed to St. Cloud for game two, Monday, and game three (if necessary), Tuesday, to conclude their round-one playoff series with the Rox. The first pitch for both games at Joe Faber Field is scheduled for 7:05 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.