Opening night in Madison wasn?t what the Mallards had hoped it would be Thursday night. In front of a Duck Pond Opening Night record crowd, the Mallards fell to the defending NWL champs, Thunder Bay, 6-1.
The Mallards opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Shortstop Ryan Bond led off the inning with a single and moved to third on Bobby Hubbard?s single. With one out, right fielder Jordan Comadena walked to load the bases. Designated hitter Ryan Basham followed with a RBI single scoring Bond (pictured left). The Mallards were unable to get any more for the 7,001 in attendance..
Thunder Bay bounced right back in the top of the fourth inning with three runs against Mallards starter Casey Baron (pictured below). All three runs were scored with two outs.
The Border Cats added another run in the fifth off Baron. The defending champions scored two more in the top of the seventh, one off Baron and the other against Mallards reliever Brett Scarpetta.
Center fielder Wayne Bond, playing in his first game as a Mallard, had two hits to pace the Madison offense.
Baron took the loss after giving up eight hits and five earned runs in 6.2 innings. Baron struck out four and walked one. Scarpetta allowed four hits, one walk and an earned run in 2.1 innings. He also struck out one batter.
Thunder Bay?s Caleb Staudt earned the win after scattering six hits over five innings. Bill Konecny pitched the final four innings to garner the save.
The Mallards will send right-hander Kitt Kopach (Illinois State) to the mound in the series finale Friday night. Friday is Newcastle Hockey Night in Madison. The Mallards will wear hockey uniforms as they take on the Thunder Bay Border Cats. Commemorative hockey pucks will be issued to the first 1,000 fans and Bucky Books will be given to the first 1,000 families. All fans in attendance will receive a Chet?s Car Care Magnet Schedule.
Single-game and group tickets are on sale now! For more information please log on to www.mallardsbaseball.com or call the Mallards ticket office at 608.246.4277.