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Published On: June 25th, 2014

MANKATO, MN  Three Bucks' pitchers combined to suffocate the usually dangerous Mankato offense and made sure an early lead held up in a 4-3 win Tuesday night at Franklin Rogers Park. Tim Shannon earned the win allowing two earned runs over five innings and then handed it off to the bullpen where Logan Sherer and Adam Dian were nothing short of dominant.

Pat MacKenzie had two hits to lead the offense and arguably should've had three but had a double pulled back on a scorekeeper's decision. The second-year player is now on an eight-game hitting streak. Connor McClain drilled his first homer of the season while Will Sparks drove in a pair of runs.

The win, coupled with Willmar's victory, means the Bucks remain 1.5 games back in the North Division standings with seven games remaining in the first half pennant race.

The Bucks never trailed in the game, taking a 1-0 in lead in the first on Sparks' sacrifice fly to center that plated MacKenzie.  Waterloo made it 2-0 in the third when MacKenzie led off with a deep drive to right that clipped the top of the right fielder's glove on a leaping attempt and was ruled an error. He'd later score when AJ Puk's fly out to deep center was dropped.

After Mankato got a run back in the bottom of the third, McClain hit a homer to left center to make the score 3-1. Sparks then came through with a two-out bloop single to right in the fifth that scored Jon McAllister an made the score 4-1.

Mankato would rally with a pair in the home half of the fifth, but wouldn't get another runner into scoring position the rest of the night.

After Shannon gave way following five good innings, Sherer came on and faced just one over the minimum through three and Dian would close the door with a one-two-three ninth inning.

The Bucks have won 16 of their last 20 games, but have frustratingly only gained 1.5 games in the standings in that stretch despite playing .800% ball.