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MoonDogs Sweep Border Cats Take Third Straight

(Mankato, MN) – The MoonDogs (13-15) managed to take away another close victory Friday night against Thunder Bay (10-18), their third straight and fifth in the last seven games. A clutch base hit by catcher Mike Melillo in the bottom of the eighth scored first baseman Cody Decker to give the MoonDogs a 5-4 lead. The MoonDogs tagged on one more in the inning and defeated the Border Cats 6-4.

Decker finished the game 3-for-4 with a double, three runs scored, and an RBI. Melillo was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Shortstop Sean Nicol was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Designated hitter Jason Christian, who came in to replace injured Alan Oaks, was 1-for-2 with an RBI and third baseman Nate Hanson had a double and scored once for the MoonDogs.

MoonDogs starter Luke Vine went six innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits while striking out six. Reliever Josh Castanza, who replaced Vine, started a dominant night from the MoonDogs bullpen, throwing 1 1/3 hitless innings. Tom Porter (1-2) finished off the eighth, going two-thirds of an inning to take the win. Closer Chad Dawson continued the bullpen’s dominance, allowing no baserunners and recording his fifth save of the season.

The Border Cats bats were led by second baseman Andrew MacDonald, who was 1-for-3 with both Border Cats RBI and a run scored. First baseman Terry Goddard was 2-for-4 on the evening. Designated hitter Temple MacDonald, right fielder Gabe Marchant, and third baseman Brandon McCall, who stole two bases, all scored once for Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay starter Kris Ruepke went just four innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits. Reliever Ryan Ackland (0-1) went three innings in relief, giving up three runs, including the go-ahead run in the eighth. Dan Zehr finished the game for the Border Cats, going one inning and allowing one run on two hits.

The MoonDogs have ended their 10-game homestand and will take off for St. Cloud for a two-game series with the River Bats. The MoonDogs will return home on July 4th for a four-game homestand at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato.