Five hours and fifty three minutes. It took the equivilant of two full games for the Madison Mallards to defeat the St. Cloud River Bats 9-5 in the early hours of Wednesday morning. A combined 13 pitchers were used in the game before Madison broke through with four runs in the top of the 18th inning. Jared Johnson provided some of the heroics for the Mallards, hitting his third home run of the season as well as pitching a perfect inning of relief to earn his first victory of the season. Johnson finished the game 3-7 from the plate and also struck out a batter. Jeff Bieker also gave the fans in St. Cloud some fireworks, as he blasted his sixth home run, and third of the series.
Shaun Corning started the game for the Mallards, pitching five and one third innings, giving up only two earned runs. Zach Peterson, Mike Dury, Tony Korson, Matt Petty, and Ryan Zink each pitched at least one inning, with only Petty surrendering runs. The runs Petty surrendered were costly, as the Mallards held a 5-3 lead in the 12th before St. Cloud tied the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Catcher John Martin knocked in three runs, Doug Beck knocked in two, and right fielder Kyle Murphy knocked in one to finish the night 2-6 from the plate.
With the victory, the Mallards (37-20, 19-7 second half) lowered their magic number to four. After arriving home at 7:00 AM, the Mallards play a day/night doubleheader Wednesday against the Mankato MoonDogs with game one beginning at 1:05 PM and game two starting at 7:05 PM. Tickets for remaining regular season games are still available both online at www.mallardsbaseball.com and at the Mallards office located at Warner Park. Playoff packages are on sale now, with individual playoff tickets going on sale Saturday. For information call 246-4277.