MoonDogs Comeback Falls Short
No one could have asked for a better night to kick off the 2004 season opener. Under clear blue skies and sunshine that has been abysmal the last week, the 1,208 fans in attendance at Franklin Rogers Park were treated to a great game that unfortunately saw the MoonDogs fall to the Alexandria Beetles 3-2.
Before the game, University of Minnesota public address announcer Dick Jonckowski spoke before giving way to former Twins great, World Series hero, and Cy Young award winner Frank "Sweet Music” Viola.
MoonDogs returning starting pitcher, Will Krout, began the game by turning in his own Cy Young award performance by striking out 7 of the first 8 Beetles batters he faced. Krout finished the game pitching 5 innings, giving up 5 hits and fanning 8 Beetles.
After a rousing rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game” by the MoonDog Band, the MoonDogs got the bats going in the bottom of the 7th. They would eventually score on a Jon Shepard single that plated Jordan Prado.
The ‘Dogs continued to fight back and put the pressure on. In the bottom of the 8th, Grant Rembert had a RBI single, then later with runners at 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, a bunt attempt by Jimmy Strombach would fail and the inning would eventually end with both runners stranded on base.
Alexandria got all the runs they would need in the top of the 5th, getting 3 unearned runs and taking a 3-0 lead.
For the MoonDogs, catcher Grant Rembert still suffering from jet lag, finished 3 for 4 on the night with 2 singles, a double, and a RBI.
MoonDog reliever Neil Wagner became an instant fan favorite as he was clocked as high as 96 mph, and consistently in the low to mid 90’s.
After the conclusion of the game, an outstanding fireworks show was put on that brought a howling roar from the MoonDogs faithful.
The MoonDogs will return home for Opening Day Part II presented by Blue Earth County Public Health and Nicollet County Public Health on Monday, June 7th at 7:05 p.m. against the pesky St. Cloud River Bats. Special Guest appearance by baseball great and best-selling author Jim Bouton will be in town. It’s also Mini-Bat and Tobacco Free night. The first 300 kids 16 and under will receive a MoonDogs mini-bat.