Hectic Bottom of the Eighth Guides MoonDogs Past Loggers
Written by Connor Wachtel
MANKATO, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs defeated the La Crosse Loggers by a final score of 8-6 during a Northwoods League ballgame played at ISG Field, Thursday night.
The game was highlighted by a big four-run bottom of the eighth inning, which was highlighted by a three-run error that allowed the MoonDogs to take an 8-6 lead. Tyson Neighbors (Kansas State) then pitched in the following inning to pick up his fifth save of the summer as he locked up the win for Mankato.
After collecting their second consecutive victory, the MoonDogs now stand 13-12 on the season. With the loss, the Loggers fell to 13-12 on the year.
La Crosse struck first in Thursday’s contest, scoring a pair of runs on groundouts by Mac Danford (Enterprise State CC) and Josh Stevenson (LSU). In the bottom half of the inning, the MoonDogs tied the game and then took the lead courtesy of an RBI single to center hit by Justin DeCriscio (San Diego).
The Loggers reclaimed their advantage in the top of the sixth inning by scoring three runs. After Connor Walsh (Rice) singled to short to score Stevenson and tie the game, 3-3, Blaise Priester (LSU) hit a two-run home run out to left to put the Loggers up, 5-3. After both sides scored one run in the following frame, the Loggers led the MoonDogs, 6-4, after the seventh inning.
The MoonDogs mounted a rally in the eighth and loaded the bases to force a one-out pitching change. In the following at-bat, Ariel Armas (San Diego) drew a walk to make it a one-run ballgame, 6-5. The next MoonDog to hit, Garrett Williams (Albiline Christian), flew out to right deep enough to draw a throw home to keep the tying run from scoring. However, chaos ensued when the Loggers’ catcher attempted to throw behind Orlando Salinas (Kansas State) at second, which resulted in the ball sailing into centerfield and all the way back to the fence. The throwing error unloaded the bases and provided the MoonDogs with three unearned runs and an 8-6 lead, which they rode until the end for their second straight win.
Starting on the mound for the MoonDogs, Corey Sanchez (San Jose State) threw five and two-thirds innings while surrendering five runs on six hits. He walked one batter and struck out four others. In relief of Sanchez, Simon Gregersen (Des Moines Area CC) picked up the win to improve to 2-3 on the summer.
The MoonDogs and Loggers rematch in the Key City Friday night for a 6:35 p.m. tilt at ISG Field. Donovan Schultz (Bellarmine) is listed as the probable pitcher expected to throw for the MoonDogs on the mound.
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.