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Not-So-Sweet 16th

(6/10/06) Shea Robin’s single to left scored Derec Manrique from second with the winning run in the bottom of the 16th inning, lifting the Waterloo Bucks past the Mankato MoonDogs on Saturday night, 2-1.

Manrique drew a one-out walk against Jason Belk (0-1), then stole second base. After Bryan Resnick walked, Robin’s single through the hole drove in Manrique, who beat a good throw from left fielder Ben Geelan to end the longest game in Bucks history.

The Bucks appeared to be on the verge of victory in each of the previous two innings, but left the bases loaded both times. With one out and the bases full in the 14th, Belk got Manrique to pop out to shortstop and Resnick to ground out to second to escape the jam. An inning later, Waterloo again loaded the bases, this time without a hit as Belk walked two and hit a batter, but catcher Matt Kramer struck out to end the threat.

Similarly, the MoonDogs were unable to capitalize on their scoring opportunities, highlighted by a curious call by the umpires in the 11th inning. With one out and Chris Rodriguez at second base, Tim Smith struck out on a pitch that got away from Kramer. Smith reached first base, and Rodriguez advanced to third to give the MoonDogs runners at the corners with one out. But Rodriguez was sent back to second and Smith back to the dugout, and the ensuing Sean Halton infield single only advanced Rodriguez rather than scoring him. Geelan then fouled out to end the inning.

In all, the MoonDogs stranded seven runners in the extra frames, which included wasting a leadoff double by Smith in the 16th. Halton, Geelan and Chris Brown all struck out following the two-base hit, three of Bucks reliever Tyler Franklin’s nine strikeouts in five innings of work.

Overshadowed in the loss was a solid spot start by Dan Klous, who pitched six innings and allowed only two hits, one of them being a Pete Schneider home run to lead off the third inning. Matt Mossey followed with six innings of his own, giving up just three hits and striking out eight.

Mankato’s only run on the night came in the first inning, when Smith singled with two outs to score Nate Hanson, who had led off the game with a double.

The MoonDogs get their first off day of the season on Sunday before traveling to St. Cloud on Monday. The River Bats then come to Franklin Rogers Park on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. to open the MoonDogs’ five-game homestand, their longest of the season. Tuesday is Let’s Make A Deal Night presented by First National Bank Minnesota, where prizes will be given away all night for fans who bring everything, including the kitchen sink!