The Waterloo Bucks jumped on Mankato early, then struggled offensively the rest of the evening. The home team suffered their third loss in four games, falling to the MoonDogs, 4-1, on Angry Birds Night at Riverfront Stadium Friday (July 1, 2016).

Mankato scored four unanswered runs and, at one point, retired 11-straight Waterloo batters as the MoonDogs rallied to earn a split of the two-game series. With the loss, the Bucks fell two games behind first-place St. Cloud in their quest to win the Northwoods League's first-half North Division title. The half-season race ends on Wednesday.

Waterloo scored first for the second consecutive night, tallying their lone run in the first inning. Lead-off hitter Taylor Boyd started the frame with a double to right field. After Lane Milligan popped out to shortstop, Tyler Curtis brought in Boyd with an RBI single to center.

The MoonDogs evened the score with a run in the second inning, then broke the 1-1 tie in the fifth inning on Jake Shepski's solo home run over the right field wall. The home run was the team-leading sixth of the season for Shepski.

Mankato extended its lead to 3-1 in the seventh inning, then plated the game's final run two innings later.

Waterloo starter Jared Crescentini (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings while striking out four and walking two.

UP NEXT: The Bucks begin a two-game road trip to Wisconsin on Saturday night (July 2), playing at Eau Claire. They return home to Riverfront Stadium on Monday (July 4) for a modified doubleheader. Waterloo wraps up a suspended game from June 14 against the Rochester Honkers, starting at 6:05 p.m. The suspended game will resume in the top of the ninth with the Bucks leading the Honkers, 3-2. The regularly-scheduled nine inning game will begin 30-minutes after the suspended game is completed or at 7:05 p.m., whichever is later.

Monday is Military Heroes Night from Riverfront Stadium and features an Independence Day jersey auction. The first 1,000 fans receive a set of Military Hero cards, which recognizes military members throughout the Cedar Valley. Before the game, the Bucks will recognize the Military Heroes featured on the cards.

During the game, the Bucks will wear special Independence Day-themed jerseys, which will be auctioned off during the game with all proceeds going to support the local Honor Flight. It's also Buck Night, featuring 10 oz. draft beer, 12 oz. fountain soda, small popcorn and ice cream sandwiches for $1.00 each, and hot dogs for $1.50

Monday’s game also features a post-game fireworks extravaganza.

All Waterloo Bucks games can be heard online at waterloobucks.com with Jared Shlensky.