After an epic pitching struggle the previous night, the Madison Mallards and Rochester Honkers exhibited some offense Monday night at the Duck Pond. Both teams had key hits late in the game with Rochester scoring a run on theirs. Fortunately for the Ducks, Madison?s key hit plated two and was the difference in a 5-4 victory.
The South Division leader, Rochester, was able to get a run in the first and second innings against Mallards starter Casey Baron (pictured below). The Honkers had won two straight 1-0 games, including Sunday?s 13 inning affair at Madison.
Madison tied the score in the bottom of the second. Catcher Jordan Wolf drew a two-out walk. He moved to second on an errant throw from pitcher Randy Wild on a pickoff attempt. Danny Dressman followed with a single to score Wolf and Dressman took second on the throw to the plate. The next batter, Gary Arndt, doubled to plate Dressman and tie the game at two.
The Mallards claimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth as Dressman led off with a single. Arndt?s sacrifice moved Dressman to second base. Mitch Saum popped out bringing Jordan Comadena to the plate. He was hit by a pitch to bring up Bobby Hubbard. The Mallards DH, Hubbard, singled to drive in Dressman and give the Mallards a 3-2 lead.
That lead was short-lived, however, as Rochester scored an unearned run against Mallards reliever Craig Meier to tie the game at three.
In the eighth inning, Madison, a team just 2-3 in games that are tied after seven innings, went to work with one out. Saum drew a walk and advanced to third on a double down the right field line by Comadena. Hubbard was intentionally walked to bring Tommy Lentz to the plate. With the infield in, Lentz popped up to the shortstop, Jaime Pedroza. That brought Spencer Steedley to the plate. Steedley, who earlier in the game threw out a runner at home plate, came through with a double to left to score a pair and give the Mallards a 5-3 lead.
Rochester would not go quietly. In the ninth against Meier, the Honkers got the leadoff man aboard with a single. After the next two batters struck out, pinch-hitter Chris Jones, the Home Run Derby Champion at the Northwoods League?s All-Star festivities a week ago in LaCrosse, put a charge into the ball. It hit about four feet below the top of the fence in left-center, nearly 370 feet away. Jones settled for a RBI double that put the game within one. Adam Tollefson replaced Meier for Madison and earned his first save, inducing a groundout from center fielder Eric Hoffman with Jones aboard at second to end the game.
The win was Madison?s first against Rochester in four attempts this season. Three of the games have been decided by one run. Last summer, the Mallards went 1-7 against the Honkers during the regular season but defeated the club in the playoffs two-games-to-one.
The Mallards play at Waterloo Tuesday and Wednesday nights. You?ll hear the games at 6:50 p.m. both nights on Madison?s Fox Sports Radio 100.5 FM or online at www.mallardsbaseball.com.
Madison returns home Thursday for Sports Impressions T-shirt Night. The first 1,000 fans 14 & under will receive a free T-shirt. It?s also Budweiser Pint Glass Night #4. The first 1,000 fans 21 & over will receive the latest in the five glass set.
Also, every Thursday night is Great Dane Beer Tasting presented by WIBA-FM. Fans can sample Great Dane brews for free before the game. Thursday is also PBR College Night. The first 100 college students will get a free PBR hat and tickets are 2-for-1 with a college ID. Also, fans can take advantage of the Working Man?s Special presented by ESPN Radio 1070, Badger Swim & Stix and Wisconsin Sports Weekly: a ticket, 2 beers, 2 hot dogs for just 10 dollars and 70 cents.
For tickets, stop by the ticket office at Warner Park, call 608.246.4277 or go online to www.mallardsbaseball.com.