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Dogs Saw Through Loggers For Sweep

(6/6/06) Steve Salas was scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. With the MoonDogs clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth inning, head coach Jason Nell decided to make the bullpen session a save opportunity.

Salas, who threw a complete game in a loss to Madison on Saturday, pitched the ninth inning Tuesday and earned the save in the MoonDogs’ 5-4 win over the La Crosse Loggers. Salas, who pitched for La Crosse last season, got the Northwoods League’s home run leader Ben Barrone to fly out to center with the tying run on third for the final out, as Mankato completed a two-game sweep of the Loggers.

The MoonDogs’ defense faltered early, putting them in a two-run hole. The first two Loggers batters of the third inning reached base via errors, but John Lowe (1-1) induced a key double play off the bat of Jesse Hart to minimize the damage. Lowe finished by scattering seven hits in 6.1 innings, allowing four runs, two of which were unearned.

In the fifth, it was the Loggers who got sloppy on defense, opening the door to a big inning for the MoonDogs. Ryan Manthei reached on an error to lead off the inning, Adam Kampsen got on base on a fielder’s choice, and Ben Geelan was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Chirs Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to score Manthie, and one out later, Bobby Verbick hit his first home run of the season to give the MoonDogs a 4-2 lead.

The MoonDogs again loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, and Sean Halton delivered a run-scoring single to score Nate Hanson and put Mankato ahead by three.

With the ‘Dogs leading 5-4 in the eighth, Mankato reliever Dan Klous got into trouble by issuing consecutive walks. Matt Mossey was brought into the game, and after surrendering a single, he struck out Adam Fleener and got Mark Ortega to ground out to escape the bases loaded jam.