7th Not Heaven For MoonDogs

(6/25/06) The Mankato MoonDogs had their wheels spinning all night Sunday, but could not come up with the big hit, and were done in by one disasterous inning in a 6-3 loss to the Thunder Bay Border Cats.

The MoonDogs outhit the Border Cats 12-9, but stranded 14 baserunners while the Cats stranded just three. The only time the MoonDogs were retired in order was in the fourth inning. Despite the troubles with runners on base, Mankato still took a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning before things fell apart.

Dan Klous, whose 0.39 ERA ranked fifth in the Northwoods League entering Sunday, had a two-hit shutout broken up by a Marcus Jones leadoff home run. Ben Petsch and Joey Lieberman had consecutive singles to chase Klous, and Dale Mollenhauer reached on a bunt single against Tom Porter. Brandon Romans’ fly ball to right scored Petsch, and after Gabe Marchant walked, Drew Martin tripled into the right-center field gap to clear the bases and give Thunder Bay a 5-1 lead. Martin scored on an Oney Guillen single to end Porter’s night.

The MoonDogs had taken the lead in the fifth when Chris Henault singled and advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Border Cats pitcher Steven Stewart. Henault scored on a single by Ryan Addison, who then stole second with two outs. Robert Rodebaugh walked, but Nate Hanson flew out to center to end the inning and, in a common thread for the night, strand two runners.

Chris Rodriguez, Tim Smith and Shane Buschini had two-hit nights for the MoonDogs, with Buschini delivering a pair of run-scoring singles.

Klous was dealt his first loss of the season, giving up five hits and three runs in six innings. Porter was touched up for three runs while only securing one out before Jason Novak entered to strike out all five batters he retired.