St. Cloud, MN – In the most important game of the season to this point, St. Cloud (22-8) did not falter and came away with a crucial 5-1 victory over Mankato (21-9) on Thursday night.
The win means that the Rox control their destiny the rest of the way in the first half, just needing two wins over Duluth to seal up the first-half championship in the Great Plains West. St. Cloud has already beaten the Huskies four times in four tries this year.
The Rox were keyed by a dominant performance out of Johnny Dow on the mound. After an eight-inning performance against Bismarck, Dow followed that up with a complete game against the MoonDogs. In nine innings on the mound, Dow struck out four batters, allowing just one run on seven hits and no walks.
The Rox bats erupted in the sixth inning to give St. Cloud the lead for good. After having just two hits in the first five innings of the game, the Rox added five in the bottom of the sixth.
Chris Esposito (Nebraska-Omaha) put the Rox up 3-1 with a two-RBI double down the left-field line. On the next pitch, Jack Winkler (San Francisco) added two more with a single to right field and put St. Cloud ahead 5-1.
The Rox started the scoring in the first inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Justin Kirby (Kent State). St. Cloud took the lead in the first frame and never trailed during the showdown with Mankato.
For a full box score from Thursday’s game, click here.
St. Cloud’s magic number to lock up the first half in the Great Plains West is down to two with only a series with Duluth remaining on the schedule. First pitch from the series opener at Joe Faber Field will be at 7:05 pm.
The St. Cloud Rox 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. Having completed its’ 27th 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, over 250 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 (WAS), 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 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.stcloudrox.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rox as your favorite team.