MoonDogs Head Into Duluth and Fall in Extras for Second Straight Night

Written by: Jacob Toepfer

DULUTH, Minn. — For the second straight night, the Mankato MoonDogs fell in extra innings when they lost to the Duluth Huskies, 5-4, in a Northwoods League baseball game played at Wade Stadium, Tuesday Night.

The MoonDogs’ third straight loss drops their record to 8-7. The Huskies improved to 10-4 on the season with the victory.

After the MoonDogs battled back from down 2-0 to take a 3-2 lead, the Huskies tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning which forced extra innings after the ninth inning. The MoonDogs struck first in extras and reclaimed the lead, 4-3, in the top of the 10th before the Huskies scored twice in the bottom half to crown themself walkoff winners.

The MoonDogs had huge days from Davis Crane (Bellarmine) and Boston Merila (Minnesota) to work with in Tuesday’s contest. Crane finished the night three-for-four with a pair of RBI on the night. Merila was similar in that he finished four-for-five with two RBI.

Mankato was down early 2-0 after Duluth scored a run in the second and third innings. In the fourth frame, RBI singles from Crane and Merila tied the ballgame 2-2. Later on in the sixth inning, Crane singled to score another run, which put the MoonDogs up 3-2.

Jarret Blunt (Nebraska – Omaha) came on for relief work in the sixth inning and was masterful into the eighth. He left runners on third and first in the eighth with two outs for Simon Gregersen (Indiana State), who came in to relive Blunt. Gregersen’s first pitch was wild and allowed the Huskies to tie the game 3-3. He kept the game tied by retiring the next batter to end the eighth inning.

After keeping the Huskies in check in the ninth, the MoonDogs headed to extras for a second consecutive night and struck first to reclaim the lead when Merlia had a knock up the middle to drive in a run.

After the top half of the 10th, Gregersen was left in to win the game in the bottom half. To start the inning, a wild pitch advanced the Huskies’ ITB runner to third, where he eventually scored on a single by JD Rodgers to tie the game, 4-4. The next two batters reached base and loaded them up for Eduardo Rosario, who hit a chopper to short that allowed the game-winning run to score when the initial throw on a potential inning-ending double play was errant over the second baseman’s head. The wild throw kept Mankato from having a chance to escape the jam and the Huskies prevailed with a 5-4 walkoff win in the bottom of the 10th inning in Duluth, Tuesday night.

Luke Young (Midland College) started on the mound for Mankato and pitched five innings in his season debut. While allowing just one hit in the contest, Young gave up two runs, walked seven batters and struckout four others along the way.

The MoonDogs will play the Huskies once again at Wade Field, Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. Mankato will look to get back into the win column with Drew Buhr (Bellarmine) getting the call to make the start.


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.