Returning home wasn’t the tonic to help the Madison Mallards as the club lost its fifth straight game, this time to the Duluth Huskies, 5-3, at the Duck Pond.
Madison and Duluth both wore uniforms of teams from the respecive cities past. The Mallards wore replica Madison Blues uniforms while the Huskies wore replica Duluth Dukes unis.
The Blues started quickly and it appeared that the losing streak would come to an end. Jordan Comadena led off the Blues’ first with a single. After Bobby Hubbard was hit by a pitch, Spencer Steedley singled to load the bases. Mitch Saum singled to center to score Comadena from third and keep the bases full. The next batter, Randy Molina, hit a pitch back to Duluth pitcher Tom Warner. Warner threw home to erase Hubbard but the throw to first was mishandled by Duluth’s first baseman, allowing Steedley to score and give the Blues a 2-0 lead after one.
Duluth tied the score in the top of the second against Madison pitcher Brian Smith. Entering the game, Smith hadn’t given up an earned run in 14 innings. With one out, Lars Davis singled and moved to second when Chris Nash’s grounder to third was bobbled by Madison’s Saum. After a grounder forced out Davis at third, Robby Price singled to load the bases. Joey Bonadonna’s single tied the score at two.
The Dukes/Huskies took the lead in the top of the third when Davis singled home Brock Simpson from third. Simpson reached on an error by Madison first baseman Randy Molina. Madison tied the score at three in the bottom of the third. Hubbard singled and moved to second on a groundout. After another groundout advanced Hubbard to third (pictured below), he scored on a Molina single.
Duluth would score two more runs: one in the fifth and one in the sixth. Simpson walked to lead off the fifth. Tim Poydenis reached on a fielder?s choice and moved to second, with Simpson moving to third on an error by Madison shortstop Mike Rohde. Davis put a bunt down to score the runner from third and was safe at first on a throwing error by the pitcher.
In the sixth, Madison changed pitchers. Craig Meier came in to relieve Smith. After he struck out the leadoff man, Nick Sullivan doubled. After a popout, Simpson doubled to plate Sullivan and end the scoring for the evening.
The Blues committed four errors in the loss. Smith took the loss for Madison, allowing four runs (two earned) in five innings. He struck out a pair and walked one while allowing eight hits.
Despite the loss, Blues fans were wowed by human cannonball David “The Bullet” Smith. Smith, appearing at Warner Park for the second straight year, flew 200 feet in the air from shallow center field to home plate.
The Mallards and Huskies meet Saturday night at the Duck Pond. First pitch is at 6:05. It is Milton Night — the third of 19 TDS Community Nights in 2006. This summer, fans from 19 different communities in the Madison area will receive discounted tickets courtesy of TDS. Residents of Portage can receive a bleacher seat for only five dollars tonight. Groups of 100 or more from one organization will receive group discounted tickets at four dollars per ticket. For more information contact the Mallards ticket office at 608.246.4277.
Single-game and group tickets for the game, and future games, are still on sale! Order yours now by logging on to www.mallardsbaseball.com or calling the Mallards ticket office at 608.246.4277.