Halton Halts MoonDogs Losing Streak

(6/5/06) After starting the season with four straight losses, the Mankato MoonDogs turned to an unconventional source looking for their first win of the season. First baseman/outfielder Sean Halton got the starting pitching assignment Monday night, and came through with a stellar effort, leading the MoonDogs into the win column for the first time with a 7-3 win over the La Crosse Loggers.

Halton (1-0), who made just five appearances on the mound at Fresno City College this season, went five shutout innings, giving up just two hits and one walk while striking out one to earn the victory. It was another in a line of solid pitching performances, but more encouraging for the MoonDogs was the emergence of the offense.

Brandon Davis hit a solo home run in the first inning, his second home run in as many days, to stake the ‘Dogs to a 1-0 lead. In the fifth, the lead doubled when Ben Geelan drove in a run with the first of his two singles on the night. An inning later, Mankato capitalized on some shaky La Crosse defense, when catcher Adam Fleener bobbled a throw home on a bases-loaded grounder by Ryan Manthei. Adam Kampsen followed with a sacrifice fly, and the MoonDogs led 4-0.

In the eighth, Joey Register collected his first hit of the season to drive in Manthei and Kampsen, giving the MoonDogs a comfortable 6-0 lead. Former Logger Jason Belk was summoned from the Mankato bullpen, and while Belk surrendered a three-run home run to Ben Barrone, he got the ball to MoonDogs closer Matt Mossey, who collected the final four outs for his first save of the season. Nate Hanson added an insurance run on a solo homer in the ninth.

The MoonDogs conclude their four-game road trip Tuesday night in the series finale with La Crosse before returning home Wednesday to face Rochester on Magnet Schedule Night, presented by TCF Bank. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free magnet schedule courtesy of TCF Bank.