Published On: July 24th, 2002

The Madison Mallards seemed to have the perfect ingredients for a nice win to break out of their current losing skid. They fell behind early, but used clutch hitting to make a great comeback and led going into the ninth. But as been the case, the Mallards could not put it away and fell to the Waterloo Bucks by a score of 8-7 in ten innings.
The Mallards jumped out to an early lead off Bucks starter Lance Beus. First baseman Jaime Martinez scored shortstop Dominic Ramos on an RBI double in the bottom of the first to give Madison a 1-0 lead.
Mallards starter Mike Johnston struggled to hold the lead however. After giving up a single run in the second, Waterloo sent eight men to the plate in the third and scored four runs to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
The Mallards however were not through and started to chip away. They scored two in the bottom of the third on a two run single by Martinez and pulled to within one in the fourth on designated hitter Charlie Babineaux’s third home run of the season. With that home run, Babineaux set the Mallards all-time single season record.
Then in the fifth, with Beus still in the game, the Mallards took the lead. Ramos and third baseman Matt Bose led off the inning with back to back singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Martinez, second baseman Mike Settle hit a sacrifice fly to score Ramos and tie the game at five. Right fielder Nick Cadena then came through with an RBI single to score Bose and give the Mallards the lead back at 6-5. That lead would hold up until the ninth.
After Johnston went 5 1/3 innings and Bernie Minjares went an inning, J.J. Jackson had went 1 2/3 solid innings coming into the ninth. But he walked Buck left fielder Adam Boeve to open the inning. Then the play of the game occurred, and as it recently has been, it did not go the Mallards way.
Jackson spun around and threw to first, apparently picking off Boeve. But the throw in the rundown from Martinez down to second hit Boeve in the back and went all the way into center field. Boeve moved all the way around to third on the error by Martinez and scored on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at six apiece.
After the Mallards threatened but could not score in the bottom of the ninth, Bill Bernabei (1-2) started the tenth and ran into immediate problems. He walked the first batter he faced, and after a successful sacrifice bunt, he gave out an intentional pass to put two on with one out. The plan backfired though as Bernabei walked his third of the inning and was replaced by Ramos, who came in to pitch from shortstop.
Ramos immediately gave up a two run single to second baseman Scott Thomson, a late inning replacement, to give the Bucks a come from behind 8-6 lead. Ramos escaped further problems, but the damage had been done.
The Mallards, as always, threatened in the bottom of the tenth off Buck reliever Nathan Stone (3-1). Catcher Matt Pagnozzi’s RBI single scored Babineaux, who led off the inning with a double, to cut the lead to 8-7. But Madison could get no closer and fell to 0-5 on the homestand.

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