The Mankato MoonDogs continued their winning ways, but instead of the bats coming alive as they have been during this hot streak, it was the pitching that led the way in a 3-0 victory over the St. Cloud Rox, Saturday night at ISG Field.
After MoonDogs starter Derrick Smith put a couple zeroes on the board, the home team came to bat in the bottom of the second inning and immediately got to work. A walk and a hit by pitch gave Kai Roberts a couple of baserunners to work with, and he did not disappoint, yanking a double down the right field line, to bring in the first run of the game. An RBI groundout by Kip Fougerousse gave the Dogs a 2-0 lead after two innings.
As it turns out, this would end up being all the run support Smith needed. The righthander pitched six innings, scattering four hits and keeping the Rox quiet and scoreless. He would give way to Grant Garza in the seventh, who picked up right where Smith left off. The Rox mounted a threat in the eighth inning, putting men on first and third base with nobody out, but three straight fly balls to Nolan Tichy in left field kept the shutout intact.
The MoonDogs would add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning, on a bases loaded walk to Joe Hauser, to extend the lead to 3-0. Mitch Casperson finished it out in the ninth for the Dogs, picking up his first save of the season and giving the team their sixth straight win.
With the victory, the MoonDogs improve to 16-10, while the Rox fall to 15-10 with the loss. The teams will square off again on Sunday, this time in St. Cloud. First pitch is at 4:05 at Joe Faber Field.
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’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 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 325 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 Rockers as your favorite team.