For about five minutes of Wednesday night’s game between the Madison Mallards and the Wisconsin Woodchucks, the Mallards had the lead and the momentum. But another series of pitfalls and bad breaks came their way, and the Mallards lost their third straight by a score of 3-2.
The starting pitcher for the Mallards, Phillip Martinez, once again pitched good enough to win, but in his last start of the season took the loss to finish his season record at 0-7. He went 7 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, though only two earned, on seven hits while walking four and striking out three.
After the Woodchucks scored a run in the first, the Mallards fought back with two runs in the fourth. Right fielder Nick Cadena ripped a two run single down the left field line to score both left fielder Jaime Martinez and first baseman Mike Lorenzo and give the Mallards their only lead of the night at 2-1.
But the Mallards left two on base in the fourth, nine on the night, and predictably it came back to hurt them. In the fifth, the Woodchucks scored the runs right back on a sacrifice fly and an error on an overthrow that hit a camera on the field. The ball bounded away, which allowed the Woodchucks to take the lead.
The Mallards threatened in the ninth off the best reliever in the league in Woodchuck Steve Grasely. Second baseman Steve Sanfilipo started the rally by being hit by a pitch with one out and after a sacrifice by center fielder Madison Edwards, catcher Matt Pagnozzi ripped an infield single off Grasely’s glove to put runners on the corners with only one out.
But Grasely got out of it by striking out shortstop Dominic Ramos and inducing designated hitter Kyle Anson into a groundout to end the game and record his league leading 18th save.
Adam Rowe started for Wisconsin and picked up his seventh win of the season to tie him for the league lead. Rowe (7-3) went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two.
The Mallards (7-19 in the second half, 20-38 overall) look to split this home and home series with the Woodchucks tomorrow night in Wausau before returning home to close out the season with five straight home games.