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Published On: July 8th, 2008

(Mankato, MN) The Mankato MoonDogs (2-1) capitalized on two key Alexandria (3-1) errors in the fifth inning on Monday evening scoring three unearned runs and Carlos Ramirez (Chandler-Gilbert) hit his eighth home run of the season and his third round tripper in his last five games as the visiting MoonDogs defeated the Beetles 4-3.

The MoonDogs offense only produced four hits on the evening, but two errors in the fifth were very costly for the home team. A lead off single by Wes Freie (Iowa) and a Mike Lobacz (Elon) walk put runners on first and second with no one out. Ryan Rummel (Texas-San Antonio) attempted to bunt his teammates into scoring position, but reached safely as the Beetle starter Andrew Robinson threw the ball into right field. With runners on second and third, Robinson seemed to be ready to escape the jam with back-to-back strikeouts, but an errant throw on Michael Rockett’s (Texas-San Antonio) ground ball to third allowed Bobby Munoz (St. Leo’s) to drive in the eventual game-winning run with an RBI single.

MoonDog starter Travis Smith (2-1) pitched a great game for the visitors going 7 2/3 innings allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits. Smith walked three and struck out five batters in the contest. Dale Dickerson (Nicholls St.) came into the game to record the third out of the eighth inning before Zach Calhoon (Texas-San Antonio) pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

The MoonDogs and Beetles will continue their two-game series on Tuesday evening. All-Star Brendan Lafferty (UCLA) will make his third start of the season for the MoonDogs. Lafferty last pitched on July 1st against the Madison Mallards in one of the biggest games of the first half for Mankato. Lafferty went eight innings allowing one run on four hits and struck out eight as the MoonDogs defeated the Mallards 4-1, lowering their magic number to one. The first pitch for Tuesday evening’s game is scheduled for 6:05pm.