Mallards use Five-run Eighth to Beat River Bats
A buzz could be heard and felt throughout the Duck Pond Thursday night, as fans could look up at the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning and see three zeros in a row for St. Cloud?s line score. Mark Moriarty was five outs away from no-hitting the St. Cloud River Bats before Konrad Schmidt belted a 2-0 fastball over the centerfield fence to breakup the no-hitter and pull the River Bats within one. Moriarty left the game to a standing ovation and his game in the hands of Mike Creevy. The Mallards reliever surrendered a double to Jake Eigsti allowing the tying run to score. With one out and a runner on second, St. Cloud nearly broke the tie, but Abe Aguirre saved the day with a spectacular diving stop at shortstop, throwing out the St. Cloud runner at first by a step. Creevy then retired the final batter to keep the game tied at two. The Mallards wasted no time fighting back, scoring five times in the bottom half of the eighth en route to a 7-2 victory.
Randy Molina provided a key pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth to put the Mallards on top 3-2. The Ducks would score four more times in the inning to help improve their league-best record to 12-3.
Ryan Rogowski extended his hitting streak to 15 games, going two for five with two runs scored and a stolen base. Rogowski secured the victory for the Mallards with a diving catch in right field to record the game?s final out.
Although he was left with a no decision, Moriarty was phenomenal for the Mallards, pitching seven and one third innings, allowing only the home run while striking out four. Abe Aguirre and Kelly Sweppenhiser each added two hits apiece for Madison.
The Mallards and River Bats battle again Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at the Duck Pond. Rick Rivas (1-0) takes the mound for the first place Mallards, as the team tries for seven straight wins. Tickets for Friday?s and all remaining Mallards home games are available online at www.mallardsbaseball.com or by phone at 246.4277.