The Mankato MoonDogs did not mess around in their final game of the first half on Saturday
night, as they scored the first eight runs of the game, en route to defeating the Rochester Honkers
11-3 at Mayo Field.
The MoonDogs, who will finish third in the Great Plains West standings in the first half, have set
them up nicely for a second half run which includes just eight of 35 games remaining against
teams with records over .500.
Mankato got the ball rolling early. After leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, Brendan
Hord (Evansville) drew a walk to force in a run in the second inning to make the score 1-0.
Mankato got two runs in the third as Ari Armas (San Diego) drove in a run and then Kai Roberts
(Utah) drove in another on a sacrifice fly.
Mankato was able to force the Rochester starting pitcher out of the game in the third inning, and
it surely paid dividends in the fourth inning. The MoonDogs started the inning with five straight
hits, including an RBI double by Ryan Nicholson (Cincinnati), an RBI single by Kip
Fougerousse (Evansville), Armas ripping an RBI single, and then Ty Rumsey (Evansville)
hitting a sacrifice fly. Kai Roberts capped off the five-run inning with a RBI single to make the
MoonDog starting pitcher Derrick Smith (North Carolina State) worked five innings, and
although it was not always easy, allowed just a pair of runs in the fifth inning to make the score
8-2. Overall, Smith went five innings, allowing three hits and two runs while striking out three.
Hord added to his multi-hit day in the seventh with a base hit, and then a throwing error on the
play would bring around Jake Duer (TCU) to score. Nicholson then hit his second RBI double to
extend the lead, and Ari Armas continued a productive day at the plate with an RBI to left field
to score Nicholson.
Rochester got one run in the seventh inning, but Mankato would even that run by way of a
Roberts RBI single in the top of the ninth inning. Mitch Casperson (Gustavus Adolphus) would
come on for the final three outs, and would slam the door, striking out all three batters he faced.
The MoonDogs are off on Sunday and Monday, before they are back in action for a two-game
set in Waterloo against the Bucks, starting on Tuesday.
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.