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Bats Down Dogs

(St. Cloud, MN) – The Mankato MoonDogs (10-15) continued their struggles Tuesday night as the St. Cloud River Bats (16-11) held off a late MoonDogs’ rally to win 7-5 at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.

Tied at 2-2 through seven innings, it appeared the game was going to be a grind to the finish. Things change. The River Bats offense came to life in the bottom of the eighth inning to put up five runs on MoonDogs relievers. Things fell apart in the eighth, as Tim Fangman (Blackhawk JC) allowed a single and two walks before giving way to Chase Joiner (Memphis). Joiner followed that up by walking two more, and allowing two hits before getting out of the inning.

The ‘Dogs put together a rally of their own in the ninth as Josh Smith (Wichita State) walked the bases loaded and gave up a bases clearing double to Bryan Horst (UC Riverside). With a score of 7-5 and the tying run on first, Jeremy Rodriguez (Cal State Bakersfield) came to the plate, only to ground in to a game ending double play.

Alex Burgos (State College of Florida) went six innings in his first start of the year, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out six River Bats.

Jason Van Skike (Indiana State) got the nod for the River Bats and he also delivered a quality start, going six innings and allowing only two runs. Van Skike punched out four MoonDogs, while allowing five hits and three walks.

Matt Chaffee (1-2, Arizona) picked up the win tossing two shutout innings at the same time striking out four MoonDogs. Fangman took his first loss on the season.

The loss is the MoonDogs 12th in their last 15 games. The win allowed the River Bats to stay within a half game of the Rochester Honkers in the North Division first half pennant race. The Dogs and Bats will battle again tonight and tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. in St. Cloud before the MoonDogs return home July 2 for a Fireworks Extravaganza to host the expansion Willmar Stingers.