(7/7/05) With one game left on the schedule for the first half of the season, the Madison Mallards visited "The Frank” on Thursday night. With a win, the Mallards would be on their way to the playoffs, being crowned Champions of the South Division. But in the back of their minds were the Rochester Honkers who with a win and a Mallards loss would sneak by the Mallards and steal the South. Knowing all of this, the MoonDogs put aside their 0-3 record against the Mallards and looked to swipe a win and spoil the Mallards plans.
MoonDogs pitcher Cameron Young and Mallards pitcher Rick Rivas clashed in a classic pitching duel. Both pitchers were phenomenal on the night as they retired batters back and forth. Young lasted eight innings allowing just three hits and no runs with six strike outs while Rivas went seven innings allowing four hits and striking out ten. The bullpens did their job as well as the game was still scoreless after nine innings of play. Finally, just moments after it was announced that Rochester was victorious, the Mallards plated one run in the tenth inning when the MoonDogs committed back to back errors with two outs.
The MoonDogs didn’t give up though. With one out, the heart and sole of the MoonDogs order constructed a rally to load the bases for the number five hitter, Alberto Cruz. Cruz battled Mallards closer Matt Petty hard until Petty snuck strike three past Cruz. The MoonDogs had one last chance when Drew Davis stepped up to the plate. Patiently waiting for his pitch, Davis worked his way to a full count. With the South Division Crown on the line, Petty delivered to Davis who flew out to deep centerfield allowing last years champions to return to the playoffs with a 1-0 win.
The MoonDogs scattered a total of seven hits throughout the contest led by centerfielder L.J. Mims who was 2-4 on the night.
The MoonDogs will start out fresh tomorrow night against the Eau Claire Express. It’s the first game of the second half of the season, starting at 7:05 p.m. Tomorrow night is "Pint Glass Give-Away Night”! The first 300 adults, 21 and older, will receive a free MoonDogs pint glass courtesy of The Underground Bar and Grill. For tickets call the MoonDogs office at 507-625-7047 or stop by either Hy-Vee location in Mankato.