MoonDogs 20th Season Concludes in Great Plains West Sub-Divisional, Mankato Bested by St. Cloud in Second Game of Best-of-Three Series
By: Connor Wachtel
ST. CLOUD, Minn. –The Mankato MoonDogs (44-26) saw their 20th season come to a close following a 9-2 defeat vs. the St. Cloud Rox (52-18) in game two of a best-of-three Great Plains West Sub-Divisional series during the 2021 Northwoods League Postseason, Monday at Joe Faber Field.
There were three different lead changes in Monday’s postseason contest. The Rox scored first in the opening frame before the MoonDogs battled to tie the game when Jack Costello (San Diego) hit a sacrifice fly to center deep enough to score Evan Berkey (Evansville) in the third inning.
In the fourth frame, the Rox scored again before Berkey tied the game by scoring a second time. Max Crabbe (Texas State) recorded the RBI single that tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning.
Mankato’s bats cooled off from that point on and St. Cloud sealed the game with what was the eventual game-winning run in the sixth inning on a wild pitch before piling on six more runs in the seventh to take a 9-2 lead.
The 9-2 lead held up through the end as with the seven-run victory, the Rox advanced in the best-of-three series with a two-game sweep over the MoonDogs in the opening round of the Northwoods League Playoffs.
Mankato trailed St. Cloud in hits by an 8-7 margin. The MoonDogs fought the ball defensively, committing four errors in the contest while the Rox had one miscue on the evening.
In relief, Rox right-hander Josh Gainer (Long Island, Brooklyn) secured his first win of the postseason after working the sixth through the eighth innings allowing just a pair of hits. The loss went to Mankato’s starting pitcher Simon Gregersen (Des Moines Area CC) as he worked six innings, Monday night.
In total, the MoonDogs conclude the 2021 campaign with a 44-26 overall record for their third-best overall finish record-wise in the organization’s 20-season history.
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.