Published On: June 12th, 2002

The Madison Mallards return home tonight for an eight-game home stand after finishing 2-1 on their recent three game road trip to go 2-3 on the season. The Mallards used a combination of good pitching and timely hitting to have the successful trip and now tonight go to even their mark at .500 on the season against the St. Cloud River Bats.
On Sunday afternoon, the Mallards picked up their first victory of the season, a 2-0 shutout of the Waterloo Bucks, mostly on the strength of excellent pitching by the entire staff. Brady Endl started and pitched a masterful game. He allowed no runs on only three hits while striking out four over 7 2/3 innings. He left in the eighth after walking two batters, his only two of the game, but was bailed out by reliever Jason John, who induced a fly ball from Waterloo shortstop Kyle Haines to keep the game at 2-0.
The game was far from over however. Reliever Josh Hansen pitched the ninth and made it interesting, giving up three hits to load the bases with two outs before finally ending the nail biter by striking out Waterloo catcher Pat Arlis on a 3-2 fastball to end the game. ?I just threw that pitch as hard as I could,? Hansen later said.
The Mallards scored their two runs in the third inning as Kyle Anson opened the inning with a base hit and was sacrificed to second base by centerfielder Madison Edwards. Matt Bose then reached on an error by third baseman Zach Dillon, putting runners at first and third. Cleanup hitter Charlie Babineaux then came through with a double in the left center field gap to score both runs and account for the only offense of the game.
In the second game of the series, the Mallards fell to the Bucks by a score of 5-3. Ryan Bennett started and took the loss for the Mallards, but pitched better than his line showed. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs, all earned, and eight hits while striking out three. He pitched out of many jams though and kept the Mallards in the game while starting his first game on any level in over a year. Cody Hall finished the last 2 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and a run.
The Mallards offense just could not get the big hit when they needed it. They scored single runs in the first, fifth and seventh innings, but could not put together a sustained rally.
Their best chance to score was in the seventh, as they loaded the bases with one out. Brady Endl walked to score one of the runs, but the Bucks escaped further damage when they brought in reliever Nathan Stone to close the door.
Stone came in and struck out Charlie Babineaux on three pitches to record the second out and got Mike Settle to pop out to end the inning. Stone then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and ninth innings to record the save and send the Mallards to 1-3.
The Mallards sensed the importance of their final game of the road trip, a single game with the St. Cloud River Bats, knowing that coming home 2-3 was much better than 1-4 and a two-game losing streak. Showing that urgency, they fought back from deficits of 2-0 and 4-2 to record a hard fought 6-5 victory.
Phillip Martinez started on only three days rest and had a gutty performance. He pitched five innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out five. He also allowed two home runs, including a two-run home run in the first to Joe Gaetti, former major leaguer Gary Gaetti?s son.
After the Mallards tied it in the fourth, Martinez allowed a solo shot to Jason Jamarillo in the fifth and reliever Jason John allowed Gaetti?s second home run of the evening in the sixth to make it 4-2.
The Mallards came back however with their biggest inning of the young season, as they plated four runs in the seventh on a variety of hits, walks and hustle. The biggest play occurred when Cooper Fouts came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. He hit a hard shot to River Bat shortstop Ben Quinto, who went to second in an effort to turn a double play. Second baseman Dustin Atkinson was taken out on a hard, clean slide by Charlie Babineaux, which enabled Madison Edwards to score to take a 5-4 lead. In the confusion that followed, Kyle Anson raced around and scored a huge run to make it 6-4. That run would later be the difference in the ballgame.
St. Cloud scored a single run in the seventh, but the Mallards escaped further damage as reliever Bill Bernabei induced a popup on Quinto with two on to end the seventh. He finished the game very effectively to earn the save in relief of Jason John, who pitched 1 2/3 innings to gain the win. This team effort in front of the hostile crowd at St. Cloud gave the Mallard some much needed momentum as they return to Warner Park tonight for an eight-game home stand.

Latest News