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Published On: June 24th, 2006

(6/20/06) While the Mankato MoonDogs’ bats continued to show signs of awakening on Tuesday night, several missed scoring opportunities cost them dearly in a 3-2 loss to the Rochester Honkers.

The MoonDogs outhit the Honkers 8-5, but stranded eight runners and had two more thrown out at the plate. The first signs of the frustrating night ahead came right away in the first inning.

With Nate Hanson on first after an error, Robert Rodebaugh hit a drive that bounced off the top of the wall and back into the ballpark, just missing a two-run home run. Hanson was waved home, where a solid relay throw beat him at the plate. Tim Smith picked up his teammate by delivering an RBI single to right to give Mankato a 1-0 lead.

MoonDogs starter Matt Mathiowetz (0-1) cruised through the first three innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth. Brett Featherson singled with two outs, and Adam Cross followed with a home run to left to put the Honkers on top, 2-1.

The MoonDogs put two runners on in the bottom of the inning with one out, but Chris Brown and Ben Geelan struck out to end the threat. Another scoring chance was missed in the sixth when Rodebaugh was thrown out at the plate after breaking on contact on a one-out grounder to third base.

Trailing 3-1 in the seventh, Mankato inched closer but could have inflicted much more damage. With two outs, Ryan Addison doubled to score Chris Rodriguez from first base. Hanson reached on an error, and Rodebaugh was hit by a pitch to load the bases to bring up Smith. But Smith swung and missed on a 3-2 high fastball out of the zone to end the inning and the MoonDogs’ final threat of the night.

The heart of the MoonDogs’ lineup – Robert Rodebaugh, Tim Smith and Sean Halton – finished 7-for-11, including Rodebaugh’s 3-for-3 night.