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Published On: June 28th, 2008

(Mankato, MN) For the first time this season, every Mankato MoonDog starter had a hit in the game, but the team would struggle to drive these runners in leaving six on base over nine innings. Starter Jimmy Dale (MSU-Mankato) pitched an eight-inning complete game allowing only three earned runs on ten hits, but St. Cloud (13-14) also scored four unearned runs on two Dale errors and defeated Mankato 7-3 on Friday night. The loss drops the first-place MoonDogs to 18-10 with a game and a half lead on the Rochester Honkers.

Weather also played a role in the game as the two teams were cleared from the field twice due to rain and lightning. Although the total game time was less than three hours, with delays the two teams were at the park for just over four hours.

Every MoonDog had one hit on the evening including Michael Rockett (Texas-San Antonio) belting his third home run of the season over the left field fence in the third inning. Matt Prokopowicz (Hofstra) drove in the first run of the game for Mankato in the second when he hustled out an infield basehit to drive Wes Freie (Iowa) in from third. Prokopowicz’s RBI single tied the game up at one, but the River Bats came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-1 lead. Rockett’s third inning blast would bring the MoonDogs within a run at 3-2, but this would be as close as the two teams would get for the remainder of the evening as St. Cloud put three more runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth, and a single run on in the bottom of the sixth.

Dale (2-2) recorded four strikeouts in the game including two innings where he struck out two batters. Conner Lambert (2-2) was the winning pitcher for St. Cloud going six innings, allowing eight hits and three runs, while striking out three.

Mankato will now travel to Alexandria to begin a two-game weekend series with the Alexandria Beetles. The Beetles are 4-6 in their last 10 games and have dropped back to fourth place in the division behind the MoonDogs, Rochester, and Thunder Bay. Mankato will send Jimmy Reyes (Elon) to the mound on Saturday to be the stopper and put the team on the winning track once again. Reyes is 2-0 this season with a 0.82 ERA in four appearances. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05pm.