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Published On: May 31st, 2023

Written By: Reese Lannon

Photo By: Kenzie Schmidt

Mankato MN – The Mankato MoonDogs certainly made it interesting on Wednesday night against the Minot Hot Tots to start a two-game series, but in the end, walked it off on a wild pitch to defeat the Hot Tots by a score of 8-7 in 10 innings.

Mankato got on the board first in the second inning, as right fielder Max Williams (Alabama) cracked a double and came around to score on a wild pitch. Minot evened the score a half inning later with an RBI single, but the MoonDogs would strike back in a big way as Nolan Ticky (UMass) delivered the first MoonDog RBI with a base hit to plate Mason Landers (Belmont).

In the fourth inning, the Mankato offense continued to kick the tires. With runners on the corners and one out, Hunter Faildo (Hawai’i) scored a run on a wild pitch. Following that, Joe Hauser (Minnesota) scored a run on a fielder’s choice. To round out the scoring Easton Fritcher (Minnesota) drove in a run with a base hit to plate Kysen Howard (CSU-Pueblo).

Minot halved the lead in the sixth inning with a two-run home run by Christian Perez (New Mexico State). However, in the seventh inning, the Dogs got those runs back. Elijah Borjas (CSU-Pueblo) knocked in a run, and then Faildo singled to bring home another making the score 7-3.

Kolby Kiser (Southwest Minnesota State) got the start for the MoonDogs, delivering a quality start and pitching six innings, allowing three runs and striking out three.

Things got wild in the ninth inning, as Minot stormed from behind, recording three singles and three walks, all with two outs, to tie the game at seven. Mankato would leave runners on the corners to end the bottom of the ninth inning to send the game to extras.

In the 10th inning, Mitchell Casperson (Gustavus Adolphus) pitched a 1-2-3 inning, stranding the extra-inning at third base and giving Mankato a chance to win.

Pinch-runner Mikey Gottschalk (MSU-Mankato) would advance to third base on a Jackson Cooke (UT-Martin) bunt, and an error made Cooke safe. Following an out and an intentional walk, loading the bases, a wild pitch would score Gottschalk and give Mankato the 8-7 victory.

Casperson took the win for the black and orange, improving to 1-0 and the team’s record to 2-1. The teams will be back at it tomorrow night to finish the two-game set with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m.