MoonDogs Rally Late and Pull Out Gritty Win to Split Series in Duluth
Written by: Jacob Toepfer
DULUTH, Minn. — The Mankato MoonDogs beat the Duluth Huskies, 7-4, in a Northwoods League baseball game played at Wade Stadium, Wednesday Night.
The MoonDogs snapped a three-game losing streak with the win to improve their record to 9-7. The Huskies dropped to 10-5 on the season with the loss.
Nick Altermatt (Minnesota State) sported a one-for-four evening with his lone hit a crucial one, driving in two runs to give the MoonDogs the lead in the top of the eighth. Sean Ross (Indiana State) also had a big night again, batting three-for-five with two RBI.
The MoonDogs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second off a Derek Shoen (UMary) solo shot. They then made it 3-0 in the next inning, adding two more in the top of the third when Kai Roberts (Utah) tripled to score Boston Merila (Minnesota) before scoring on a single by Ross.
The Huskies responded in the bottom of the fourth with two runs before tacking on another in the fifth to tie the game, 3-3. Scores remained even until the Huskies plated another run in the bottom of the seventh to take a 4-3 lead.
Then the MoonDogs scored four runs in the eighth. The first pair scored on a clutch single hit by Altermatt. Ross then came up after him and drove him in to make it 6-4. Ross then proceeded to steal third and scored moments later following an errant throw down from the backstop. After eight innings in Duluth, the MoonDogs lead the Huskies by three runs, 7-4.
In the ninth inning, Tyson Neighbors (Kanas State) entered the game and sat down the side in order to pick up his fourth save of the season.
Drew Buhr (Bellarmine) threw five innings as Mankato’s starter on the hill. He allowed three runs, struck out three and walked one.
The MoonDogs get set for a quick turnaround doubleheader on Thursday against the Willmar Stingers tomorrow at 12:05 and 6:35 p.m. in Mankato. It will be a battle for second place in the Great Plains West as both teams enter the doubleheader with an overall record of 9-7. Duke Benge (Air Force) will pitch for the MoonDogs in game one while Altermatt is scheduled to throw in game two.
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.