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Published On: July 15th, 2006

(7/9/06) After a difficult first half of the season, the Mankato MoonDogs will take wins in any form.

The MoonDogs capitalized on two crucial mistakes by St. Cloud pitchers, and Pat Cassa threw seven shutout innings as the MoonDogs beat the River Bats 3-0 Sunday night in the final home game before the All-Star Break.

Mankato scored twice in the third inning on a throwing error by River Bats starter Michael Jarman. After Ben Geelan and Tim Smith led off the inning with consecutive singles, Chris Henault laid down a bunt that Jarman fielded. Attempting to throw out Geelan at third, Jarman threw wildly over the head of Mike Loberg, and with the ball trickling all the way down the left field line, Smith came around from first to score on the play and give the MoonDogs a 2-0 lead.

The MoonDogs almost had an even bigger inning after center fielder Alex Kubal dropped a routine pop fly by Shane Buschini, putting runners at the corners with nobody out. But Robert Rodebaugh popped out to the shortstop, and Ryan Addison grounded into a double play to end the inning.

In the seventh, Adam Kampsen led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice by newcomer James Keithley, who arrived from San Antonio earlier in the day and started at second base. With Kampsen at third, River Bats reliever Nick Tess unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Kampsen to score and give the MoonDogs a 3-0 advantage.

In his first start since he allowed seven runs in five innings against Thunder Bay on June 18, Pat Cassa turned in a sterling performance with seven scoreless innings surrendering just five hits and notching eight strikeouts.

Tom Porter allowed one hit in a scoreless eighth inning, and Jason Novak pitched a perfect ninth to earn his fourth save as the MoonDogs evened the season series with the River Bats at 2-2.