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Published On: June 29th, 2013

MANKATO, MINN–  After having what appeared to be the game-winning run called out at home at the bottom of the ninth inning, the Mankato MoonDogs went on to lose to the Waterloo Bucks 14-13 in 11 innings Saturday night at Franklin Rogers Park.

With the score knotted at 13 and Jonathan Rodriguez (Oklahoma City) representing the winning run sitting at second, Matt Jones (Southern Illinois) hit a two-out single to center.  Rodriguez was barreling towards home and appeared to have a step over the throw to the Bucks’ catcher, but the MoonDogs  didn’t get the call they were hoping to see as it was determined Rodriguez was tagged out, sending the game into extra innings.

The bonus frames featured a showdown between Mankato reliever Jesse Harbin (Arkansas-Little Rock) and Waterloo pitcher J.D. Moore (South Dakota St.). Both pitchers dominated in the extra frames, with each retiring the side in the tenth, Harbin doing so notching three strikeouts. 

In the eleventh inning, Waterloo was able to bring home Chesny Young (Mercer) for the go-ahead run when Jake Mahon hit a sacrifice shot to short.   Mankato was able to get runners at first and second in their half of the inning but three strikeouts by Moore sealed the deal for the Bucks.

The game was another wild offensive affair, with the teams combining for 27 hits in the contest.  Mankato was able to build a 5-1 lead early on, greatly in part of the performance of Zach Zehner (Cal Poly).  Zehner hit a two-RBI double in the opening frame and added his first home run of the season in the third to give the MoonDogs a four-run lead.

But once again Mankato’s pitching ran into difficulties in the middle innings that allowed Waterloo to remain within striking distance.  After both teams plated three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings, the Bucks exploded with six runs in the top of the seventh inning that gave them a 13-11 lead. 

The MoonDogs were able to respond by scoring in the bottom of the seventh and the eighth to tie the game heading into the ninth.  The run plated in the seventh was Jonathan Rodriguez’s third RBI of the night, highlighting another strong performance by the outfielder.  Rodriguez finished with four hits on six at bats.

The loss eliminates the MoonDogs from contention for the North Division First Half title, as they now fall five and a half games back of the bucks with only four games remaining.  Despite this, they still have three more to play with Waterloo and will look to exact some revenge on the Bucks on Sunday night at the Frank.  Sunday is the MoonDogs baseball giveaway presented by First National Bank Minnesota, as the first 400 kidswill receive a free MoonDogs baseball. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m.

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.