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Published On: August 6th, 2008

(Mankato, MN) The Mankato MoonDogs have become the comeback kids in the second half of the season recording more late inning rallies than they did through the first half of the season. On Tuesday night, the MoonDogs (18-10, 38-24) played the role once again as the visitors put five runs on the board in the top of the ninth inning, taking a three-run lead into the bottom of the inning that closer Scott Matyas (Minnesota) would hold onto as the visitors stole a 9-6 victory from Brainerd (10-21, 20-40).

The MoonDogs scored all five runs in the ninth inning with at least one out as Bobby Munoz (St. Leo’s) walked following a Brett Krill (UCLA) strikeout. Cory
Harrilchak (Elon) singled Munoz over to second and was in turn advanced to second by Carlos Ramirez’s (Chandler-Gilbert CC) walk. With the bases loaded, Mike Lobacz (Elon) singled into right field scoring Munoz and Harrilchak. Wes Freie (Iowa) ran for Ramirez after his walk and scored as Kyle Knudson (Minnesota) reached base on an error by the Blue Thunder third baseman. CJ Belanger (Cal-State Northridge) doubled in Knudson and Lobacz to finish the scoring in the inning, giving the visitors a 9-6 lead.

The MoonDogs led 1-0 after the first inning as a Harrilchak walk followed by a Ramirez double scored the first run of the game for Mankato. The visitors added to this lead in the third inning as Lobacz drove Ramirez and Munoz in with a single. Lobacz finished the game going 2-for-4 with four runs driven in. Harrilchak and Belanger also had multi-hit games with Harrilchak going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Belanger posting a 2-for-5 night with a run scored and two RBI.

Jimmy Reyes (Elon) struggled on the mound for Mankato going only 4 1/3 innings allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits. Reyes also walked three batters and struck out two. Zach Calhoon (Texas-San Antonio) filled the role of long reliever for the MoonDogs pitching 3 2/3 innings of solid baseball allowing two unearned runs on three hits while striking out five. Calhoon picked up his third win of the season pushing his season record to 3-1. Matyas loaded the bases in the ninth inning adding to the drama for the Brainerd fans, but managed to get himself out of the inning by striking out the side and leaving three runners on base.

The MoonDogs travel back to Mankato for their final regular season home stand. The MoonDogs will host Eau Claire and Thunder Bay before traveling to Waterloo for the final game of the season. Wednesday will be Back to School Night at the park and the first 200 kids 14 and under will receive a Free Book when they enter the gate. The first pitch between Eau Claire and Mankato is scheduled for 7:05pm.