Mallards Week in Review
It was a rough week for the Madison Mallards on the field as the team stumbled to a 0-7 record from Sunday, June 11, to Sunday, June 18. The losses dropped the Ducks? season record to 7-10.
The week started out with the Mallards in the midst of a five game winning streak and tied for first place in the South Division. They had just come off series sweeps of the Wisconsin Woodchucks and Brainerd Blue Thunder and were headed to Eau Claire for a two game set with the Express.
But then the Ducks went into a tailspin. The Express took game one by a score of 3-1 and game two 2-0 en route to a sweep of the Mallards.
In game one, on Monday, June 12, third baseman Mitch Saum recorded a hit in his first game as a Mallard and picked up another hit in game two. He finished the week hitting .308.
Pitcher Adam Mills also turned in a solid game one performance giving up one earned run in six innings of work. He scattered six hits while striking out eight. Unfortunately, it wasn?t enough for the Mallards who saw their overall record drop to 7-5.
From Eau Claire, the team traveled northeast to Wausau for a pair of games with the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The Chucks were hungry for revenge after being swept by the Mallards just a week earlier, and revenge was what they got.
In the opener, the Woodchucks beat the Mallards 5-4. Madison was ahead 3-2 after five innings, and went up 4-2 in the top of the eighth. But Wisconsin rallied back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the eighth and took a lead it would not relinquish.
Game two was similar to the first. The Mallards had rallied in the top of the sixth to take 4-3 lead but in the bottom of the seventh, Woodchucks left fielder Billy Froehlich homered with the bases loaded to give Wisconsin a 7-4 lead. The Mallards pushed across two more in the eighth but would come up just short, losing another close game 7-6.
The team flew south back to the Duck Pond on Friday in hopes that a little home cooking was just the remedy they needed. The Duluth Huskies, rather Dukes, had other ideas as the Mallards became the Madison Blues for the night, donning replica uniforms and replica hats with authentic short bills for the Neckerman Agency Turn-Back-the-Clock Night.
It appeared the Blues would end their losing streak after jumping out early to a 2-0 lead but the Dukes came storming back, posting a two spot in the second and another run in the third en route to a 5-3 victory over Madison. Nonetheless, fans were entertained post-game by music from Westside Andy and the Mel Ford Band, as well as by human cannonball David ?The Bullet? Smith. The Bullet, appearing at the Duck Pond for the second consecutive year, wowed fans by shooting himself 200 feet through the air from shallow center field to home plate.
The same two teams were in action again the next night but this time as the Mallards and Huskies. The name change did nothing to help the Mallards who were defeated again, this time by a score of 8-5.
The night was not lost, however, as the Mallards celebrated father?s day early with Summit Credit Union Play More Catch With Dad Night. After the game, fathers and their children took the outfield to play catch with baseballs provided by the Mallards and Summit Credit Union. The night then concluded with a fireworks show presented by Life Style Staffing. It was the second of seven Saturday fireworks shows to take place throughout the summer. And although the outcome on the field wasn?t what the team had hoped for, the series at home was a success as more than 13,000 fans made their way out to the Duck Pond for the weekend series.
The next day, things started out well for the Mallards, as they scored two runs against the St. Cloud River Bats in the top of the first by way of a Bobby Hubbard home run, his first of the season. Despite the runs, St. Cloud answered back in the bottom of the first with four runs, and did not look back. As was characteristic of the week, errors were a factor as the Mallards lost 9-3 and recorded four miscues in the field.
The Ducks look to turn it around tonight, June 19, as they send Eryk McConnell to the mound, hoping to take a win back from the River Bats.
The Mallards return home Thursday, June 22, to take on the St. Cloud River Bats. It will be TLC Laser Eye Centers ?Blind As A Bat Night.? One lucky fan will win a free laser eye surgery and the first 1,000 fans will receive a free pair of Mallards sunglasses. The Zooperstars mascot show, presented by Pepsi, will be providing entertainment all night.
Great seats are still available! Visit www.mallardsbaseball.com, call 608.246-4277 or stop by the Duck Pond for tickets or more information.