WATERLOO, IOWA – The Mankato MoonDogs offensive struggles continued, suffering a 4-2 loss against the Waterloo Bucks Monday night at Riverfront Stadium.
The Mankato Offense has struggled in the late innings this season. When leading after five innings, the Dogs are 8-2 , but when trailing after six innings, they are just 1-8.
The MoonDogs managed to piece together their two runs on five hits, but ran out of gas offensively after taking a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Mankato held on to the one run lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, but starting pitcher, Cameron Giannini (Southern Miss) gave up a Marcos Calderon two-out, two run double to give the Bucks a 3-2 lead.
Giannini (2-1) was solid over the first five innings, but ran out of stream in the sixth, giving up the go ahead run on his 103rd pitch of the day. Overall, the right-hander gave up three runs on six hits while walking three batters, striking out five over 5.2 innings.
Mike Nowak (Dixie State) made his sixth relief appearance of the season for Mankato, giving up the fourth and final Waterloo run in the 7th. The southpaw gave up one run on two hits while walking a pair of Bucks batters over 1 inning of work. Zack Hobbs (Navarro JC) worked the final 1.1 innings, shutting down the Waterloo offense with no runs and no hits, while striking out two.
Josh Fuentes (Saddleback College) led the Mankato offensive attack in his first start of the season. Fuentes finished the night 2-for-2 at the plate with a walk and a pair of runs batted in. Chase Simpson (Wichita State) went 1-for-4 with a double in his final at bat of the night, and has now reached base safely in 10 straight road games. Zach Zehner (Cal-Poly) finished the night 0-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored.
The MoonDogs are now 9-10 on the season, and 3.5 games back in the Northwoods League North Division first half standings. Mankato wraps up their four game road trip with a two game series in St. Cloud starting Tuesday evening before The MoonDogs return to the Frank on Thursday, June 20 to play a pair of seven inning games against the Willmar Stingers. Game one will start at 605pm, and game two will start shortly after the conclusion of game one. Thursday will be T-Shirt Giveaway Night presented by HickoryTech, with the first 500 fans in attendance receiving a free MoonDogs t-shirt.
Season and single game tickets are on sale at the MoonDogs office located at 1221 Caledonia Street in Mankato. For more information visit the teams website at www.mankatomoondogs.com or call the office a 507-625-7047.