The Mankato MoonDogs put a massive dent into the scoreboard on Sunday night in a nearly-four hour game, coming out on top by a score of 20-10.
The 30 combined runs tied a season high for the MoonDogs as they were able to open up the gap in the middle of the contest, and extend it until the end.
Mankato got on the board first for the fourth time in the series, as they put two runs on the board off of a RBI single by Kai Roberts (Utah) and then Ben Hopper (Bethany Lutheran) being hit by a pitch to force in a run.
After Minot answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning, the MoonDogs came back hacking. Asher Bradd (Illinois) drove in Eli Anderson (North Iowa CC) with a sacrifice fly to kick it off, followed by an RBI single by Brendan Hord (Evansville) to tie the game. Then, another sacrifice fly, this time by Jalen Martinez (Arkansas State) gave the MoonDogs a 5-4 lead.
The black and orange continued to add in innings three and four as Bradd delivered an RBI single, and then Martinez lifted his second home run in as many days over the left field fence to give themselves a three-run cushion.
MoonDog starting pitcher John Lundgren (Illinois) would last four innings on the mound, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out five and garnering a no-decision
In the fifth inning, Mankato started to break the game open as Bradd ripped another RBI single to score Anderson. Then, Ari Armas (San Diego) delivered a big swing, as cracked a two-run double to make the score 10-5.
However, the Hot Tots would respond, putting four runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning before recording an out. Grant Garza (Tarleton State) would come into the game to stabilize things, and Mankato kept a one-run lead after five innings.
That’s where the MoonDogs began to stabilize the game. Another Mankato sacrifice fly, this time by Armas, added a run in the seventh inning. Then, back-to-back walks by Bradd and Roberts would force in two more runs for the MoonDogs. Hord would follow that with an RBI single, which was followed directly by Armas once more with another big hit, a two-run single for added insurance. For good measure, Orlando Salinas (Kansas State) drove home another run on a walk and Anderson capped the inning with another hit for an RBI to finish the seven-spot in the inning and extend the lead to 18-9.
After a run crossed for Minot in the bottom of the eighth, Mankato answered with two runs in the ninth.
The win represented the third series victory Mankato has taken over Minot this season as they improved their overall record to 35-27, including 15-12 in the second half. The MoonDogs finish up the road trip with a two-game set in Bismarck on Monday.
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.