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Published On: June 8th, 2006

(6/4/06) The Mankato MoonDogs played another close game on Sunday afternoon, but in sticking to the trend, they came up short in a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Madison Mallards.

The MoonDogs, whose 9-8 record in one-run games last year was fourth-best in the Northwoods League, dropped their third one-run decision in as many games this year, while losing their fourth straight contest overall.

With the game tied 3-3, Madison led off the bottom of the 10th with consecutive singles by Blaine Rutledge and Mike Rohde against Mankato reliever Matt Mossey (0-1). The MoonDogs intentionally walked Ryan Bond to load the bases, and one out later, Dan Melvin hit a tough grounder to shortstop that Nate Hanson was unable to convert into a double play, scoring Rutledge with the winning run.

The loss spoiled a gutsy effort by the MoonDogs, who rebounded from a tough loss Saturday to rally late in the game Sunday. Trailing 3-0 in the 8th, Ben Geelan reached on an error by Mallards pitcher Scott Reese. Hanson followed with a single, and one out later, designated hitter Brandon Davis launched the MoonDogs’ first home run of the season over the 320-foot marker in left field to tie the game.

MSU-Mankato star Dane Secott made his MoonDogs debut and pitched well enough to keep the ‘Dogs close, going seven innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. Mallards starter Brian Smith also went seven innings, surrendering four hits while shutting out the MoonDogs, but did not factor into the decision.

The ‘Dogs had several scoring opportunities early against Davis, putting two runners on base in each of the first two innings, but could not push a run across. After singles by Davis and Chris Rodriguez in the first, Ryan Manthei lined out to third to end the threat. In the second, the ‘Dogs put runners at the corners with two outs, but Hanson grounded out to short and Mankato came up empty again.

Meanwhile, the Mallards scored single runs in the first, third and fourth innings. Ryan Bond’s groundout to first scored Jordan Comadena in the first, and Comadena knocked in the second run of the game with a single after Kris Rochelle’s leadoff triple in the third. An inning later, Jordan Wolf singled to score Bobby Hubbard and give the Mallards a 3-0 advantage.