Written by Connor Wachtel
ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs picked up their fifth-straight win, 12-10, over the Rochester Honkers in a Northwoods League baseball game played at Mayo Field, Friday night.
With the win, the MoonDogs improved to 19-14 on the season and took game one of two in a road series against the Honkers, who now stand 13-18 on the season.
Simon Scherry (Evansville) opened the scoring when he drove in Garrett Williams (Albilene Christian) in the third inning on a single to right. Mankato tripled its lead in the fourth when Orlando Salinas (Kansas State) hit a two-run double to right to make it 3-0 MoonDogs.
The seventh inning began with Ariel Armas (San Diego) drawing a walk and saw the MoonDogs bat around their order. Armas capped the eight-run surge in the seventh and made it 11-0 when he launched a two-run blast over the leftfield fence for his second home run of the season. Armas’ shot served as the eventual game-winning RBI.
The Honkers rallied to score six runs in the bottom half of the seventh and made it 11-6 before the MoonDogs scored once more in the eighth and made it 12-6. In the following inning, the Honkers made another push scoring four more runs to shrink the deficit to just a pair, 12-10.
The ninth inning saw MoonDogs’ closer Tyson Neighbors (Kansas State) pick up his seventh save of the summer when he pitched a 1-2-3 perfect inning to lock down Mankato’s 12-10 victory over Rochester.
On the mound for the MoonDogs, Donovan Schultz (Evansville) picked up the win after he pitched six complete innings of one-hit shutout baseball. Along the way, he walked three opposing hitters and struck out five others en route to improving his record to 3-2 on the summer.
The MoonDogs head back to Rochester on Saturday for the finale against the Honkers at 6:35 p.m. John Lundgren (North Alabama) will pitch prior to the three-day off-break that’s scheduled for Mankato.
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.