The Madison Mallards battled, and battled and battled some more. In all, they fought for 14 innings but ultimately came up short Thursday night, losing 2-0 to the LaCrosse Loggers at the Duck Pond. The loss dropped the Mallards record to 6-4 and moved them three games behind the division-leading Rochester Honkers.
It was a pitchers? duel all night long as Mallards starter Eryk McConnell (pictured left) worked eight shutout innings while allowing seven hits. Unfortunately for McConnell, Loggers starter Jason Dominguez was equal to the task, working seven shutout innings of his own. He allowed just six hits while striking out three and walking four.
From there the bullpens took over, but still no one could break through with a run. Madison?s Jason Leaver (pictured below) allowed just one base runner in three innings after taking over for McConnell in the ninth. Madison, however, had several chances against LaCrosse reliever Luke Sewell. Sewell took over in the eighth and allowed just one hit to Madison but walked six batters in 2.2 innings.
The Loggers finally broke through in the 14th inning against the third Madison pitcher, Mike Creevy. Creevy, who earned the win in the previous night?s 14 inning victory at Waterloo, allowed the leadoff man, Jesse Hart, to reach in the 14th thanks to an error by shortstop Gary Arndt. After Creevy retired the next two hitters, LaCrosse?s Kirk Bacsu lined a double to center field to plate Hart and give the Loggers the lead. Ben Barrone followed with a single to score Bacsu and give the Loggers a 2-0 lead. The runs for LaCrosse were the first in 34 innings for the team.
In the bottom of the 14th, the Mallards? Bobby Hubbard singled to right with one out but Don Erdall, the winning pitcher for LaCrosse, retired the next two Madison batters.
Madison left 16 runners on base in the game and left two runners on base in four of the 14 innings.
The same teams meet Friday night at Warner Park. Jake Sullivan will start for Madison against the Loggers Rodney Brantley. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Maynard G. Mallard, the Madison mascot, will skydive onto the pitchers? mound with the ceremonial first pitch. The first pitch Friday is presented by Newcastle Brown Ale.
Great seats are still available. For tickets, visit www.mallardsbaseball.com, stop by the ticket office at the Duck Pond or call 608.246-4277.