The Mankato MoonDogs jumped out to an early lead and then had to rally late, but came up just short, dropping the series opener in Waterloo by a score of 8-5 at Riverfront Stadium on Saturday night.
The MoonDogs picked up two runs on an RBI double by Tyler Sullivan and an RBI single by Peter Maris in the top of the third.
However, the Bucks came back scoring a run on a Pat McCenzie sacrifice fly in the third and an RBI infield single by Zack Soria in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 2-2 heading into the fifth.
Neither team plated a run in the next two innings, but Waterloo’s offense exploded in the home half of the seventh, scoring six runs on a two-RBI single by McCenzie and a two-RBI double by Will Sparks. The other two runs scored in the inning came via a MoonDogs error and the Bucks lead was 8-2 after seven innings.
Eric Schenck-Jablinske brought the MoonDogs to within 8-5 in the top of the eighth with a bases clearing double. However, the MoonDogs couldn’t come all the way back as they Waterloo hung on for the 8-5 victory in the series opener.
Dane Dunning picked up the win with seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out seven. Adam Dian picked up the save with a scoreless ninth.
Blake Battenfield pitched well, earing a no decision for the MoonDogs. The right-hander tossed six innings, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out five. Garret Ring suffered the loss, falling to 2-1 on the season while Brandon Zywicki tossed a scoreless eighth.
The MoonDogs and Bucks conclude their series on Sunday afternoon at 3:35 p.m.