A night after the Mallards needed six innings to find their groove at the plate, the defending Northwoods League Champions wasted little time pouncing on the MoonDogs Thursday, jumping ahead 2-0 in the second inning en route to a 6-2 victory.
First baseman Kris Rochelle got the second inning started for the Mallards (2-0), by walking and advancing to third on a double by third baseman Kelly Sweppenhiser. Catcher John Martin and right fielder Jordan Comadena followed with back-to-back RBI infield singles to give the Mallards a 2-0 lead, a lead the Mallards would never relinquish.
The Mallards bats came alive again in the sixth and seventh innings for the second straight night as Madison posted back-to-back two-run innings. Jeff Bieker tripled to the wall to start the inning and pinch hitter Mike Rhode brought home Bieker with an RBI single. Rhode went two-for-two off the bench with an RBI. The Mallards added one more in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Comadena.
In the seventh, Mallards left fielder Ryan Rogowski blasted the Mallards first home run of the season into the Duck Blind in right field to give the Mallards a 5-1 lead. Madison added one more in the seventh on an error by Mankato first baseman
The Mallards pitching staff had another solid outing as Jake Hansen pitched five innings while giving up one run while striking out five and walking none en route to his first victory of the season. Mark Moriarty came in to relieve Hansen and worked three shutout innings while striking out five. Casey Baron pitched the ninth, yielding one run and striking out two.
The Mallards return to the diamond Friday night as they take on the Duluth Huskies at 7:05 p.m. Madison sends J.J. Hollenbeck to the mound for the first game of the weekend series. For tickets call the Mallards front office at 608.246.4277 or online at www.mallardsbaseball.com.