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Published On: June 28th, 2013

MANKATO, MINN- The Mankato MoonDogs were unable to capitalize on an early 5-0 lead as the St. Cloud Rox were able to surge back and eventually overtake the MoonDogs, winning 12-7 on Friday night at Franklin Rogers Park.

A two-run first inning and a three-run second inning once again spotted Mankato an early edge, but starting pitcher Kahana Neal (U. of the Cumberlands) ran into trouble into the fourth inning and the MoonDogs were unable to stop the bleeding, as St. Cloud racked up 17 hits on the Mankato pitching staff.

After breezing through the first three innings only giving up one hit, Neal was burned for five hits and three runs in the top of the fourth.  Middle relievers Zach Hobbs (Navarro JC) and Ryan Quick (Austin Peay St. U.) did not fare any better, getting knocked around for nine hits and nine runs in only three combined innings of work.  St. Cloud did most of their damage in a five-run sixth inning, highlighted by a two-run homer by Vincent Jackson (Tennessee).

Mike Nowak was able to stop St. Cloud’s offensive outburst, throwing the last two innings without surrendering a hit, but the MoonDogs batters, faced with a 12-7 deficit, went silent, as they were unable to record a hit over the last four innings of the game.

Josh Fuentes (Saddleback College) led the MoonDogs’ offense going three-for-five with three RBIs thanks to a second-inning double.  Jonathan Rodriguez kept his hot hands going, adding another two hits to three on Thursday, but was unable to drive in any runs in the loss.

Looking ahead Mankato is set to open its most important series of the season as they welcome the Waterloo Bucks for the first two games of a four game series.  Mankato currently sits four and a half games back of the Northwoods League North Divison leading Bucks, and is going to need to make up a lot of ground quickly as the First Half of the season is winding down.

Saturday will be Think Pink Night at the Frank presented by Liv Aveda Salon and Spa, Mankato Clinic and Hot 96.7. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. and Julian Esquibel (Faulkner University) is slated to start on the mound for Mankato. Season and single game tickets are on sale at the MoonDogs office located at 1221 Caledonia Street in Mankato.  For more information visit the website at or call the office a 507-625-7047.