The Madison Mallards quest for a second straight Northwoods League Championship came to an end Sunday night, as the Mallards dropped a 4-3 decision to the Thunder Bay Border Cats in Ontario, Canada in front of a Thunder Bay record 3,391 fans.
Madison trailed for most of the game, but mounted a rally in the seventh and eighth innings, tying the game up at three. Jordan Comadena, Ryan Bond and Danny Dressman singled in consecutive at-bats to load the bases in the seventh, before Will Vogl recorded the Mallards first RBI of the evening after reaching on a fielder?s choice. The Northwoods League Most Valuable Player Ryan Rogowski added a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to 3-2, but Kris Rochelle struck out to end the seventh.
Madison cashed in on another opportunity in the eighth inning, as Ryan Bond tied the game up with an RBI double that scored pinch runner Craig Nyborg. However, Comadena was thrown out at home on the run-scoring double on a questionable call for the third out of the inning.
It didn?t take the Border Cats long to reclaim the lead as they pushed the final run of the ballgame across home plate in the bottom of the eight. Mallards’ pitcher Erick Walker, who had two of the Mallards three post-season victories, walked in the eventual winning run after walking the bases loaded. The earned run allowed by Walker was his first in the playoffs and just his second all season long.
The Mallards had one final chance in the ninth, but were retire in order as Shawn Williams picked up his third save of the post-season, getting all three Mallards hitters to ground out.
The Mallards finished the 2005 season with an overall record of 46-28. Stay tuned to the Mallards Web site throughout the fall and winter for information regarding the 2006 season.