As the MoonDogs let out a sigh of relief getting out of the jam, their worries were just beginning. The Rox finally broke through with a five-run, six-hit eighth inning to tie the game at 11 apiece.
First basemen Sam Twichell thought he had the MoonDogs back ahead with a towering shot down the right field line in the bottom of the eighth, but it was called foul. Twichell was ejected later after exchanging words with the base umpire as he grounded out for the second out of the inning.
Left fielder Zach Zehner walked the following at-bat and stole second, setting Rodrigez up for possibly his biggest hit of the night: a slapped single to left off St. Cloud reliever Jason Hoppe that was just enough to bring Zehner in and put the MoonDogs on top once again. Hoppe led the Minnesota State baseball team to the NCAA Division II finals earlier this spring.
Jess Amadee loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but punched out the last batter of the game to give the MoonDogs a 12-11 victory and register his first win of the year.
The Rox scored in five innings during the game, but every inning that yielded a run for St. Cloud brought in runs for Mankato as well. The 'Dogs answered St. Cloud all night until the victory was complete.
Woody Woodward, Zach Zehner and Alex Polston paced Mankato with two hits apiece as every MoonDog in the starting lineup registered a hit and eight of the nine scored a run. The MoonDogs record now sits at 16-13.