Photo captured by Dylan Engel (Mankato MoonDogs)
Written by: Connor Wachtel
MANKATO, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs were shutout 3-0 by the St. Cloud Rox in a Northwoods League baseball game played at ISG Field, Monday evening.
With the loss, the MoonDogs suffered their first consecutive loss of the season to fall to 5-3 on the year. The victorious Rox improved to 7-0 on the summer by capping a two-game home-and-home sweep over the MoonDogs.
St. Cloud struck first in the fourth inning of Monday’s contest when Jack Steil (Nebraska) and Magnum Hofstetter (Hawaii) hit a double and then single back-to-back to give the Rox a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the seventh, a single blooped to left by Ethan Mann (New Mexico State) scored Hofstetter from second to make it 2-0.
The MoonDogs rallied and got two runners aboard in the bottom of the eighth but had them eventually stranded by excellent Rox pitching. In the bottom half of the inning, St. Cloud’s Albert Choi (New Jersey Institute of Tech.) put salt in the wound after the fact by tripling to left-center and scoring one more run to make it 3-0.
Coming back out for the ninth inning, Chase Grillo (Washington State) returned to the mound to pick up his third save of the season after leading the Rox out of the jam in the eighth. The Rox ultimately held on in Monday’s contest to defeat the MoonDogs 3-0 and sweep the two-game home-and-home series.
Picking up the win after pitching seven shutout innings in enemy territory was Hunter Day (North Iowa Area CC). Day allowed five hits, walked one and struck out another in the outing that saw him improve his record to 1-0.
Despite a solid outing in his second start of the summer, Nolan Pender (Bellarmine) came down with the loss to fall to 1-1 on the season. While allowing four hits and one run, Pender walked two and struck out five opposing hitters.
St. Cloud outhit Mankato, 7-5, in Monday’s ballgame. The MoonDogs had the only error in the game and had four runners stranded while the Rox left nine aboard.
Following an off day around the Northwoods League Tuesday, the MoonDogs open a new home-and-home two-game series against the Rochester Honkers Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. at ISG Field.
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’ 28th 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 280 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 (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist 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 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com. 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.