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A beautiful, festive evening at the Duck Pond turned ugly rather quickly for the Madison Mallards Sunday night as they lost to the Mankato Moon Dogs 9-0. Game time weather was beautiful with a little wind and the Mallards were riding high following their season high two game winning streak.
But once the game started, it was all Mankato. Mallard starter Phillip Martinez was not nearly as effective as he had been in his previous two starts of the season. He allowed seven runs, five earned, on nine hits in only 4 1/3 innings.
The Moon Dogs got going early and often Sunday night. In the third inning, Mankato shortstop Chandler Rose, batting only .042 entering the game, had his first of three hits of the night, a double to left field. He came around to score on a Bobby Gilliam base hit to make it 1-0. Gilliam then scored on a groundout to give the Moon Dogs a 2-0 lead.
As Mankato started to score, the weather started to grow worse and worse. It became really windy and started to rain hard as the Moon Dogs expanded their lead. They scored three more runs in the third on five hits, including a two run home run by second baseman Aaron Olsen.
Mankato then knocked out Martinez with two more runs in the fifth on three hits and two errors on the same play by Mallard shortstop Dominic Ramos to make it 7-0. Ramos summed up the Mallards night, committing five errors on the evening.
The Moon Dogs closed out the scoring with two runs in the seventh off reliever Nick McCann, though both were unearned. The Mallards best performance on the mound Sunday night was by Matt Bose, who started the game at third base. He pitched two scoreless innings.
Mankato received a great pitching performance by Clay Tichota. He evened his record at 1-1 by pitching six scoreless innings and allowing only three hits while striking out four. Tichota, along with reliever Tom Everidge, held the Mallards to only four hits on the entire night in recording the staff shutout.
The Mankato offense was a different story. They scored the nine runs on 11 hits, including three by Rose and third baseman Jeff Maland. With the win, the Moon Dogs improved to 5-4 on the season.
Madison (4-6) will try to come back Monday with an 12:35pm matinee against the Rochester Honkers.

Published On: June 17th, 2002