Mallards Week In Review
While the Madison Mallards put up just a .500 record from Monday, July 3 thru Sunday, July 9, it was, for all intents and purposes, a fairly successful week. The Ducks kicked off the second half of the NWL season on Friday, defeating the Eau Claire Express 2-0 at the Duck Pond. The win kick-started the team out to a 2-1 record to open the latter part of the schedule and places the Ducks in a tie for second place in the South Division.
The week opened up on a positive note as the Mallards defeated the Mankato MoonDogs in Mankato by a score of 4-3. Both Kris Rochelle and Joe Oliver put up multi-hit games and outfielder Spencer Steedley (pictured top-left) contributed two RBI as the Mallards won in 12 innings. Pitcher, Craig Meier worked five innings allowing just one run on five hits.
The Ducks followed that performance with another great effort the following night. Left-hander Casey Baron (pictured below) turned in seven strong innings, allowing no runs on just four hits. He also struck out seven and did not walk a man en route to a 3-0 Mallards victory. The win boosted the Mallards season record versus Mankato to 4-0.
As good as the Mankato series was, the following series with Rochester was equally bad. The Mallards lost the series opener to the Honkers by a score of 6-2. Starter Brian Smith was effective allowing three runs in five innings but the Honkers were also able to tag Mike Creevy for three more runs in the eighth giving them a comfortable lead they would not relinquish. Spencer Steedley went 2 for 4 with a run scored in that game. RBI were provided by Jordan Comadena and Mike Rohde.
Thursday night, the Ducks were back at it with the Honkers and this time things were a bit closer. The Mallards actually held a lead after plating a pair of runs in the top of the third but Rochester came right back with two of their own in the bottom half to gain a 3-2 lead. That would be all the scoring that would take place on that day as the Honkers completed a sweep of the Ducks by a score of 3-2. The loss marked the end of a disappointing first half for the Mallards but provided new hope for the second half.
The second half kicked off the very next night when the Mallards returned to the Duck Pond to take on the Eau Claire Express. Ducks Pitcher Eryk McConnell was terrific limiting the Express to zero runs on just four hits. Newcomer Tommy Lentz went 1 for 4 in the game and Jordan Comadena provided both Mallard RBI in a 2-0 shutout of the Express. The win got the team out of the gate at 1-0.
Unfortunately, the following night, Saturday, was another story for the Ducks. Express pitcher Jordan Zimmerman went eight innings allowing three runs on four hits. He also struck out nine while walking five, ultimately leading to a 9-5 Express victory. The Mallards continued to battle throughout the game putting up a run in the eighth and two in the ninth but the Eau Claire lead was just to big.
It was also Interstate Battery hat night on Saturday. The first 1,000 fans 18 and over received a Mallards hats courtesy of Interstate Battery
A now 1-1 Mallards squad entered Sunday?s contest with Waterloo anxious to reclaim an above .500 record. They would not be disappointed. C.J. Thieleke?s Ducks put up a seven spot in the first inning and would not look back, taking a 7-4 decision from the Bucks. The seven run first was capped off by Mike Rohde?s grand slam home run, just the second in Mallards history. Starter Adam Mills worked seven innings giving up just two runs on four hits. Bucks starter Scott Shaw had no such luck. The right-hander from Illinois lasted just one-third of an inning, allowing seven runs on three hits. Shaw had all kinds of difficulty finding the strike zone as he walked four and hit another batter. The win pushed the Mallards record to 2-1 and into a second place tie in the South Division. Sunday, fans were also entertained by the zany antics of the Zooperstars. Names like Cow Ripken Jr. and Harry Canary kept fans laughing all through the game.
The week was also very good in the stands as the three games drew over 16,000 fans. The Mallards would like to thank each and every one for their support.
Tonight, the Mallards take on the Waterloo Bucks in a 7:05 p.m. contest. It will be U.S. Cellular Bobblehead Night. The first 1,000 fans 14 and under will receive a Maynard G. Mallard bobblehead courtesy of U.S. Cellular.
Great seats are still available. Order yours now by visiting www.mallardsbaseball.com or calling 246.4277.