In the first All-Star game to be held at Warner Park for the Madison Mallards, it just had to be fitting that the all the many of the Mallards players had a huge part in the South’s 2-1 come from behind win over the North before an All-Star game record crowd of 2,712 people at the Duck Pond.
With the South trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth, three Mallards played huge roles in the comeback. Off Brainerd reliever Ryan Hamilton, Mallard first baseman Jaime Martinez opened up the inning with a base hit to left. After Waterloo outfielder Drew Davidson singled off new pitcher Dustin Braud, also from Brainerd, another Mallard came through in the clutch.
Designated hitter Charlie Babineaux, who won the home run hitting contest earlier in the day, showed his versatility by laying down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving the runners to second and third with one out.
After third baseman Ben Thomas of Rochester was intentionally walked, second baseman Jeff Cammann of Waterloo grounded out to make the second out, setting up the stage for the final Mallard hero of the night.
With Braud still in the game, Mallard second baseman Kyle Anson ripped a shot to center field, just out of the reach of Alexandria center fielder Josh Howard and to the wall, scoring pinch runner Blake Eager of Waterloo and Davidson to win the game for the North.
Anson, who had two hits for the Mallards, was named the games M.V.P. The Mallards ended up with three of the victorious North’s six hits on the night.
Steve Grasley of Wisconsin picked up the win for the South, pitching a perfect ninth with two strikeouts. Braud took the loss for the South.
The Mallards will take a day off on Wednesday before resuming their second half of the season on Wednesday with a 7:05pm home game against the St. Cloud River Bats.