MANKATO — The Mankato MoonDogs took advantage of some wild throws by the Waterloo Bucks to win their NorthWoods League baseball game 4-2 at Franklin Rogers Park Friday.
The home team got some help from Bucks’ starter Aaron Myers in its three-run fifth inning. After MoonDogs’ catcher Craig Lepre gets hit by a Myer’s fastball, shortstop Justin Fletcher put him in scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.
Left fielder Eric Schenck was then walked before leadoff hitter Tyler Sullivan put the MoonDogs on the board with a diamond cutter single up the middle. On an attempted pickoff at first, the pitchers’ throw got past the first baseman, allowing Schenck to score from third and enabling the ‘Dogs to take a 2-0 lead.
As Sullivan took two bases on the wild pickoff move, he soon found himself crossing home plate on a wild pitch by Myers.
In the bottom of the eighth the MoonDogs took advantage of another wild pitch. The home team had the bases loaded before Bucks’ reliever J.D. Moore uncorked a pitch to the backstop, allowing runner Derek Umphres to score and giving Mankato its 4-2 lead.
After a 4-1 loss to Eau Claire in his last outing, MoonDogs’ starting pitcher Cord Cockrell came back and got the win on Friday. He worked 6.2 innings and gave up two earned runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts.
He was relieved by Tyler Mark with two outs in the seventh and a runner on third. The right-hander got Luke Stratman with a swinging strikeout to end the threat. Mark earned his first save of the season, pitching 2.1 innings with no earned runs on no hits and fanning three.
Mark now has the best ERA on the MoonDogs roster with 0.90.
“I’ve been in some pretty tough spots with two outs and a man in scoring position, but I just have to do my job throwing strikes and competing,” Mark said.