Photo Captured by Dylan Engel (Mankato MoonDogs)
Written by Connor Wachtel
MANKATO, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs picked up their fourth-straight win to complete a four-game sweep over the Waterloo Bucks with a 9-7 victory in a Northwoods League baseball game played at ISG Field, Thursday night.
With the win, the MoonDogs improved to 18-14 on the season and completed a four-game sweep over the Bucks, who now stand at 7-23 on the season.
Mankato prevailed in the contest thanks to three one-run innings as well as a pair of three-run frames. The MoonDogs’ fifth inning showing, which featured three runs on four hits, was the difference-maker. Charles McAdoo’s double to left scored Dustin Crenshaw (Grand Canyon) for the eighth and eventual game-winning run.
Derek Shoen (UMary) gave the MoonDogs an early lead Thursday night in the bottom of the first inning when he grounded into a fielder’s choice, allowing Boston Merila (Minnesota) to score from third and give Mankato a 1-0 lead.
After the Bucks evened the score in the top of the second inning, the MoonDogs reclaimed the lead thanks to a bases-loaded RBI single through the right side by Cade Verdusco (Grand Canyon). The three-run inning was capped by two-run single off Merila’s bat. Mankato led Waterloo, 4-1, after two innings at ISG Field.
After both sides traded a run, first with the MoonDogs scoring in the bottom half of the fourth and the Bucks returning the favor in the top of the fifth, the MoonDogs maintained grasp of a three-run lead, 5-2, after four and a half frames in Mankato.
In the bottom half of the fifth inning, Dustin Crenshaw (Grand Canyon) singled to right to score a pair of runs before scoring himself on McAdoo’s double. The MoonDogs scored again in the sixth to grab a 9-2 lead, which capped their scoring for the evening.
The Bucks made a late push, scoring five runs in the final three innings, with one run in the seventh before scoring a pair in the eighth and ninth, but ultimately were held short as the host MoonDogs prevailed by a final score of 9-7.
On the mound for the MoonDogs, Corey Sanchez (San Jose State) made his second start of the summer and picked up the win to improve to 1-0 on the summer. He allowed a pair of runs on five hits, walked three batters and struck out four others.
Next on the docket, the MoonDogs hit the road for a pair of 6:35 p.m. contests at Mayo Field in Rochester, Minn., against the Honkers, Friday and Saturday.
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.