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Published On: July 22nd, 2006

(7/19/06) Erik Komatsu had four hits, including the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth, as the Brainerd Blue Thunder rallied past the Mankato MoonDogs 6-5 on Wednesday night.

Komatsu’s ninth inning single off Tom Porter scored Jesse Griswold, who had led off the inning with a double and was sacrificed to third by Erik Huber before scoring his third run of the night for the game winner. Among Komatsu’s four hits were two doubles, giving him a Northwoods League-leading 11 this season.

Griswold, Huber and Aaron Wible all had three hits, as the middle of the Brainerd order combined to go 13-for-17 with five RBI.

For the third straight night, the MoonDogs jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first inning and extending the lead to 3-0 in the third. But All-Star pitcher Steve Salas gave two runs back in the bottom of the third, and was unable to answer the bell in the fourth, finishing with two runs and seven hits allowed in three innings.

Fabian Gomez provided three solid innings of relief work before running into trouble in the seventh. With the MoonDogs leading 4-2, the Blue Thunder rallied for three runs against Gomez and Jason Belk to grab a 5-4 lead that was turned over to Trevor Hurley in the ninth.

This time, it was the MoonDogs’ turn to rally, as Robert Rodebaugh led off with a triple off the wall, Mankato’s second triple of the night and their third in the two-game series after tallying none in the season’s first 42 games. Pinch-hitter Ryan Manthei’s ground ball to second base scored Rodebaugh with the tying run, and the MoonDogs had their sights set on their 10th extra innings game of the season, until Komatsu led Brainerd’s winning rally in the bottom of the inning.

Rodebaugh, Shane Buschini and Chris Henault all posted multi-hit games that included extra-base hits and drove in at least one run apiece. Henault was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

The win snapped Brainerd’s five-game losing skid, and was their first against the MoonDogs in four games this season.