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Published On: July 16th, 2006

(7/10/06) The nice thing about a season with two halves in the chance for redemption. So far, the Mankato MoonDogs are taking full advantage of that second chance.

Five days ago, the MoonDogs were riding a six-game losing streak and were sitting in the basement of the North Division. Today, they head into the All-Star Break one game out of first place after an 11-inning, 2-1 win over the St. Cloud River Bats on Monday night.

Sean Halton’s infield single scored Shane Buschini with the winning run as the MoonDogs beat the River Bats for the second night in a row and won for the third time in four second-half games. Buschini had led off the 11th inning with a double down the right field line, and after St. Cloud pitcher Mike Christl walked the bases loaded, Halton’s bouncer into the hole left shortstop Bryan Cartie without a play, allowing Buschini to plate the eventual winning run.

Jason Novak came on to pitch the bottom of the inning, and got himself into a bases loaded jam, too. James Leverton singled and moved to third on a double by Ryan Curry, his third hit of the night. The MoonDogs elected to intentionally walk Charlie Cutler, whose .311 batting average ranks eighth in the Northwoods League, a move that paid off when J.J. Jelmini grounded out to short to end the game. Novak has earned the save in all three of the MoonDogs’ second-half wins, and five on the season.

Matt Mossey, whose 0.85 ERA ranks second in the league, got the win after pitching a perfect 10th inning. Mossey evened his season record at 3-3.

MoonDogs starter Tyson Brummett was facing the River Bats for the second time in five days, and fared much better this time around. After allowing four runs on six hits in six innings last Wednesday, Brummett tossed six shutout innings on Monday, giving up just two hits and notching four strikeouts.