Even though the Thunder Bay Border Cats held a 6-2 lead after three innings, one sensed the Mallards would stage a comeback Tuesday night, after the Mallards defeated Thunder Bay handily the night before and certainly due to Madison?s nearly perfect 9-1 record at the Duck Pond so far this season. The Mallards did in fact showcase their mettle, battling back to make it a one-run ballgame through the sixth. The Border Cats responded in the top of the seventh, however, adding an insurance run, and the Mallards missed a possible game tying opportunity a half inning later, as Thunder Bay defeated Madison 8-6 in front of 5,087 fans.
An error, an infield single, and a wild throw allowed the Mallards to score one run in the fourth inning to make it a 6-3, Border Cats lead. But when Abe Aguirre hit a two-out double that sprung Doug Beck from second to home in the seventh inning, a play at the plate ensued that changed the complexion of the game.
As the throw came in, it appeared that Beck safely slid under the tag. The umpires did not see it that way. The call brought Mallards manager Darrell Handelsman and assistant coach C.J. Thieleke onto the field in dispute. Both were ejected. More importantly, had Beck been called safe, the Mallards would have been within one run, with the tying run aboard at second. Instead, the score remained 8-6, and the Mallards were unable to score from there on out.
Zach Peterson (1-1) picked up the loss for the Mallards, giving up six hits and six runs in a short outing. Ryan Rogowski went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs, and Jay Johnson had two hits and two RBIs for the Mallards.
The Mallards (10-9) hit the road to take on the Waterloo Bucks the next two days. Tickets for all Mallards games are available online at www.mallardsbaseball.com, and at our office located at 2920 N. Sherman Ave.