The Madison Mallards have struggled all season long in the regular season against the Rochester Honkers, posting a 1-7 record against their South Division rival. However, Monday?s night game was not the regular season, and Madison stepped up and delivered a 6-2 victory in Game One of the Divisional Series.
The Mallards jumped on the board in the third inning, taking a 3-0 lead and never looked back. Will Vogl, Danny Dressman and the Northwoods League Most Valuable Player Ryan Rogowski put together three straight singles to start the inning, including Rogowski?s RBI single. Rogowski, who was named the Mallards Most Valuable Player in a post game ceremony, finished the evening 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Kelly Sweppenhiser collected the other RBI in the inning with a groundout that scored Dressman.
The three runs the Mallards scored in the third inning would be all the Mallards starting pitcher Adam Mills would need. On a day when Mills was named Mallards Pitcher of the Year and selected to the Northwoods League Post-Season All-Star team, the right-hander threw seven innings, allowing just one earned run while striking out six.
The Mallards bullpen once again proved up to the task of holding a lead as Tim Gudex and Erik Walker pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings respectively.
Rochester threatened with two runs in the sixth inning, cutting the lead to 4-2, but Randy Molina provided a mammoth blast over the left field fence to put the exclamation point on the Mallards impressive victory.
The Mallards travel to Rochester Tuesday for Game Two of the Best-of-Three Divisional Series. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
Fans can take the trip up to Rochester to cheer on the Mallards, as Madison continues on its quest to bring home their second straight Northwoods League Championship. A fan bus will depart from The Duck Pond for Rochester at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are 30 dollars and include the bus to the game, a ticket to the game and food and drinks on the bus ride. Fans can purchase tickets at www.mallardsbaseball.com or by calling the Mallards office at (608) 246-4277.