Published On: July 21st, 2002

For four innings on Sunday night, the Madison Mallards had played an excellent game and looked as if they were going to break out of their losing skid. But they fell apart in the fifth and ended up losing to the Brainerd Mighty Gulls by a score a 7-3, their sixth loss in eight games.
The Mallards started the game off with a bang. Second baseman Kyle Anson singled with one out in the first and scored on a triple by center fielder Madison Edwards to give Madison a quick 1-0 lead.
Then in the second, the Mallards added to their lead. With two out, shortstop Dominic Ramos and catcher Cooper Fouts walked, setting the stage for left fielder Erik Johnson.
On the first pitch he saw from Mighty Gull starter Ryan Hamilton, Johnson tripled down the left field line, scoring both Ramos and Fouts to give the Mallards a 3-0 lead.
Madison starter Brady Endl pitched solid through four innings, allowing no runs and only three hits. But Endl and the Mallards fell apart in the fifth.
Endl walked the lead off hitter, Mighty Gull shortstop Ryan McCarthy, to open up the inning. After a fielder’s choice, the wheels fell off. Endl gave up five straight hits, including two doubles and a bunt hit, and was chased with the Mallards trailing 4-3.
Endl (2-3) ended up giving up four earned runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Mike Schaefer came out of the bullpen to get out of the mess, but not before Brainerd had sent ten men to the plate.
The Mallards were still in the game until a controversial play in the seventh. With Mighty Gull catcher John Purdom at third base and third baseman Tyson Hanish at first with one out, Schaefer caught Hanish in a rundown. He threw to first baseman Matt Bose, who went to Anson who applied the tag near second base for the second out of the inning.
Purdom then tried to score on the play. Anson’s throw to Fouts at the plate was on the target, but Purdom took down the umpire with the slide. He appeared obviously out, but was called safe and the Mighty Gulls took a 5-3 lead and the momentum in the game. They tacked on two more in the ninth off Mallard reliever Bill Bernabei and ended up winning going away, 7-3.
The Mallards struggled again on the offense end, compiling only three hits on the night and five in the two game sweep at the hands of the Mighty Gulls.
Hamilton recorded the complete game win for Brainerd to improve to 5-1 on the campaign. He only allowed three hits, none after the second inning, while walking five and striking out six.
Brainerd recorded 12 hits and were the beneficiary of seven walks from the Mallards pitching staff in improving to 7-3 in the second half and in first place in the Northwood’s League North Division.
The Mallards (3-7, 16-26 overall) will try to get the bats going tomorrow night at 7:05pm in game one of a two game series against the St. Cloud River Bats.

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