MoonDogs Stymied by Eight Unanswered Express Runs in Eau Claire

Photo captured by Dylan Engel (Mankato MoonDogs)

Written by: Jacob Toepfer

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — The Mankato MoonDogs lost to the Eau Claire Express, 8-4, in a Northwoods League baseball game played at Carson Park, Sunday.


The loss drops the Mankato MoonDogs record to 8-5 on the season. The win improved the Express to 8-5 as well.


Nick Altermatt (Minnesota State – Mankato) opened the scoring in the top of the first by driving in Justin DeCriscio (San Diego) on a sacrifice fly to left. After that, the MoonDogs did not score again until the top of the eighth inning.


In the meantime, the Express piled on eight consecutive runs to take an 8-1 lead. They got there by scoring three runs in the fourth and four in the fifth before tacking on one more run in the seventh.


In the eighth, the MoonDogs scored three runs to come within four of the Express, 8-4. After two quick outs in the inning, the MoonDogs rallied and got three consecutive batters on base. With the bases loaded, Boston Merila (Minnesota) was hit by a pitch to walk in the first run of the inning. With a 2-1 count, Noah Greise (Nebraska Omaha) hit a chopper over to short and the first basemen for the Express couldn’t handle the throw from short, it ate him up, and two runs scored off an error. Greise was credited with two RBI before the next MoonDog struck out to end the inning. The game eventually concluded with the Express prevailing by a final score of 8-4.


The MoonDogs saw a big debut from Decriscio, who went three-for-five. He had three singles in his first three at bats and was solid defensively at shortstop.


Weston Lombard (San Fransisco) got the loss, dropping his record to 0-2 on the season.  He went four and a third innings with a line of three walks, three strikeouts and four runs allowed. Timmy Reeve (San Joaquin), John Lundgren (North Alabama) and Anthony Rodgriguez (Central Methodist) appeared in relief.


The MoonDogs rematch the Express Monday at Carson Park in Eau Claire. The MoonDogs’ probable starting pitcher is Nolan Pender (Bellarmine). First pitch is slated for 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’ 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 For more information, visit 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.