After scoring five runs in the first three games of this six game home stand, the Madison Mallards finally got the bats going in a big way, scoring 13 runs on Tuesday night. But the pitching and defense fell apart and the Mallards came up on the short end of a wild, heated 14-13 score with the St. Cloud River Bats before a boisterous crowd of 2,597 at Warner Park.
After Mallard starter Mike Smith gave up a single run in the first, the Mallards came back with a big four spot in the bottom half, highlighted by a two run single by designated hitter Jaime Martinez and a two run double by third baseman Mike Settle, to take a 4-1 lead.
However, the River Bats scored five runs in the second to chase Smith, who gave up six runs, though only two earned, in 1 2/3 innings. St. Cloud sent 10 men to the plate in taking a 6-4 lead. After the Mallards scored a run in the second, the teams traded runs in the third and St. Cloud led 7-6 after a wild three innings of baseball.
After a scoreless fourth inning by both teams, the River Bats scored two in the fifth but the Mallards came back with a single run on an RBI single by Erik Johnson to trail by two. During the inning, a disputed rundown involving Settle resulted in the ejection of River Bat manager Ron Rakowski. Rakowski actually did not leave the field until after the next inning was over, another one of the bizarre occurrences of the night.
St. Cloud scored three more runs in the sixth on another crazy play, though eerily similar to one that occurred the previous evening. River Bat shortstop Ben Quinto came up to the plate with the bases loaded and attempted a suicide squeeze. Unfortunately for the Mallards, lightning struck twice as pitcher Mike Springsteen fielded the ball but threw it into right field, allowing the bases to clear and the River Bats to take a 12-7 lead.
The Mallards were not done however, as they scored single runs in the bottom half of the sixth and seventh innings to pull within three at 14-11. The sixth featured a near bench-clearing brawl following a hard tag applied at third base to Settle.
St. Cloud scored two in the eighth of Mallards pitcher Mike Schaefer, the fifth hurler of the evening. But down by five again, the Mallards continued to fight, scoring three in their half of the eighth highlighted by a two run single by Johnson and a bases loaded walk to center fielder Madison Edwards. However, first baseman Matt Bose ended the frame by striking out.
Down 14-12 in the ninth and facing the fifth River Bat hurler of the evening in David Sharfstein, Madison nearly pulled one out. Second baseman Kyle Anson hit a one out single, his fourth time on base of the night, and moved over to third on a two out single by Settle, his fourth time on base.
Shortstop Dominic Ramos then singled to right to score Anson to pull the Mallards within one at 14-13, but Charlie Babineaux popped up to St. Cloud catcher Jason Jaramillo to end the thrilling affair.