MoonDogs Outlasted by Stingers in Slugfest at Willmar
Written by Jacob Toepfer
WILLMAR, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs win streak was snapped at six games by the Willmar Stingers, Thursday night. The final score was 21-14 in one of the highest-scoring games in Northwoods League baseball history.
With its first loss in seven games, the MoonDogs are now 15-10 in the second half with an overall record of 34-25. With the bounce-back victory, Willmar is now 21-4 in the second half, with an overall record of 42-17.
Swinging the hot stick offensively, Charles McAdoo (San Jose State) went three-for-five at the plate with two home runs. Brendan Hord (Evansville) went three-for-five with two runs scored as well. Also, Ari Armas (San Diego) went two-for-five at the plate with a team-leading three RBI.
The MoonDogs got to work quickly in the run column, scoring one run in the first on a Sean Ross (Indiana State) home run. The MoonDogs then exploded for seven runs in the second inning. After the MoonDogs reached base, McAdoo hit a two-run shot to left field. Once another MoonDog reached base, Mikey Gottschalk (Minnesota State) drove him in with a single. Ross later knocked Gottschalk in and eventually came around to score later in the inning on a single by Armas. McAdoo and Orlando Salinas (Kanas State) also added two more RBI as well in the inning. After two frames, the MoonDogs led the Stingers, 8-7.
While the Stingers were down, they responded with four runs in the second and six more in the third to make it 13-10. Mankato added one in the fourth and three more in the fifth, but to no avail, Willmar responded with three in the fifth as well as the seventh. They also piled on two more in the eighth for good measure. The MoonDogs scored one run in each of the final two frames prior to the conclusion.
Willmar had many great performances, Thursday night. However, two Golden Gophers stood out in Brett Bateman (Minnesota), who had six hits in seven at-bats. Additionally, Tucker Novotny (Minnesota) struck out 11 MoonDog hitters in four and two-thirds of an inning pitched.
Mitchell Casperson (Gustavus) started on the hill for the MoonDogs. He pitched two innings and gave up seven earned runs. Four relievers came in for relief work the remainder of the evening and surrendered a combined ten earned runs.
The MoonDogs are set to rematch the Stingers, Friday night at 7:05 p.m. back at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar, Minn.
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. Now in its’ 29th 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, 300 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 2019/2021 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 and on ESPN+. 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.