Manthei Walks Off With Win

(6/13/06) The MoonDogs gathered at home plate to greet the conquering hero, and for a moment, all the frustrations they have felt in the first 11 games of the season disappeared. Nobody was more elated than Ryan Manthei.

Manthei hit a walk-off home run as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 11th, lifting the MoonDogs past the St. Cloud River Bats 2-1 on Tuesday night before a crowd of 1,074 at Franklin Rogers Park.

Manthei had been hitting .161 on the year, and his six errors had cut into his playing time at first base. But on the second pitch he saw from River Bats reliever Tony Lombardi, Manthei drove a high drive over the wall in left field to snap the MoonDogs’ four-game losing streak, and improve their record in one-run games to 2-5.

Dan Klous (1-0) earned the win by pitching three shutout innings in relief behind starter Matt Mathiowetz, who was signed earlier in the day to make the start. Mathiowetz, who pitched for MoonDogs head coach Jason Nell at Iowa Lakes Community College this season, went eight innings and gave up just one run on three hits while striking out six. Mathiowetz and Klous combined to hold St. Cloud hitless between the fifth and 10th innings.

With the MoonDogs trailing 1-0 in the fifth, Ryan Addison led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice by his Elon University teammate, Robert Rodebaugh. Tim Smith, the only MoonDog to collect two hits, singled sharply to right field to advance Addison, who then scored on a Sean Halton groundout.

Mathiowetz and Klous then took over and faced just one batter over the minimum through the final five innings, retiring 11 in a row before Klous allowed a two-out walk in the 10th inning.