The first full week in action for the Madison Mallards was a positive and productive one.
From Sunday, June 4, through Saturday, June 10, the Ducks played seven games and won six of those decisions to earn a .857 winning percentage for the week.
On Sunday, the Mallards finished off a sweep of Mankato they started on Saturday, June 3. They then split a series at Eau Claire before coming back to Madison for a 7-5, 7-2 sweep of the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The Mallards hit the road again to finish off the week and picked up their third sweep of the season, beating the Brainerd Blue Thunder 2-0, 7-3 in a Saturday doubleheader with two seven inning games that took place due to a rainout the day before.
Over the weeklong period the Mallards outscored their opponents 33-17 and outhit them 56-49. Associate Head Coach Chris Maliszewski (below left) was pleased that the Mallards bats picked up but also said it?s no surprise that it took a few games.
Hitting goes in waves, he said. ?Right now the guys are still adjusting to the wood bats. This week our bats really picked up and we didn?t have to go our bullpen that early.?
In addition to the productive hitting, there were also a number of key pitching performances. Against Mankato on Sunday, Brian Smith (below right) pitched seven strong innings, giving up no runs, four hits and only one walk while striking out four. Mike Creevy picked up the win in the contest as he pitched 2.2 innings, striking out one while yielding one run, two hits and one walk.
On Tuesday, Casey Baron (above left) looked especially strong for the Ducks as he pitched a complete-game shutout for the 3-0 win against Eau Claire, giving the bullpen some much-needed rest.
Marc Lewis, who had just been drafted for the Brewers, started for the Mallards on Thursday. He struck out two over six innings while allowing the Woodchucks four hits, three walks and two runs, although neither of the runs were earned. Brett Scarpetta pitched the final three innings in relief and with three strikeouts, gave up no runs and no walks while scattering three hits.
Smith had another strong outing on Saturday, this time picking up the win as he threw a complete-game shutout. Yet, even with the good pitching, Maliszewski was excited at the thought of finally being able to compete with a full roster.
We don?t have to abuse our bullpen now,? Maliszewski said. ?We just got two top guns in Mills and McConnell, who we?re expecting quality starts out of pretty much every time and our bench just got a lot deeper. That?ll pay off in the dog days in July.?
The only rough spot of the week for Madison was errors ? they were charged with 14. But by and large the Mallards were able to make up for nearly all their fielding miscues and never lost a game due to errors.
If CJ would have told me we?d be 7-3 after ten games I?d have told him he?s crazy,? Maliszewski said. ?That?s not a knock on the talent but I didn?t think we?d have enough horses that early in the season. Right now we?re excited to have a full roster.
The Mallards will look to continue their success as they play two games each at Eau Claire and Wisconsin before finishing off the week with a two-game series against the Duluth Huskies at home.
Catch every pitch on Madison?s Fox Sports Radio, over the airwaves at 100.5 FM, or online at www.mallardsbaseball.com or www.foxsportsmadison.com.
Great seats are still available for the Friday (7:05 p.m.) and Saturday (6:05 p.m.) games against the Huskies. Visit www.mallardsbaseball.com, call 608.246.4277 or stop by the Mallards ticket office at the Duck Pond for tickets or more information.