Mallards Dropped in Duluth
With their spot in the Northwoods League post-season wrapped up, the Madison Mallards had a little fun on Saturday night. The Mallards trotted an array of different players, many not typically known as pitchers, out to the mound en route to a 7-3 loss in Duluth. Fortunately for the Ducks (35-32), the loss meant little as the team wrapped up their fourth consecutive playoff appearance a night earlier in La Crosse.
Duluth got the scoring started in the second inning when with two men on, Tim Murphy tripled to give the Huskies an early 2-0 lead.
The Mallards would answer in the fifth, however. Jordan Wolf led off the frame with a single and moved to second after Joe Oliver (pictured below) was able to reach on an error. The next batter, Wayne Bond, laid down a sacrifice bunt that was mishandled by the pitcher to load the bases for Wayne?s older brother Ryan Bond. Ryan Bond sent a slow grounder to second that brought Wolf home to make the score 2-1. The next batter was Mike Creevy (top left). Creevy, making his first plate appearance of the summer, proceeded to smack a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Oliver from third to tie the score at two.
In the sixth, the Mallards took the lead. Jordan Comadena reached on an error and moved all the way to third after both Blaine Rutledge and Wolf singled. After Oliver struck out, Wayne Bond singled to right to score Comadena and give the Ducks a 3-2 advantage.
Duluth would take the lead back in the sixth. After Mitch Saum gave up a single and a walk, Manager C.J. Thieleke called on Danny Dressman to pitch. The first man Dressman faced reached on an error by the second baseman, Ryan Bond, to load the bases. That brought up Byron Wiley and he did not miss. Wiley proceeded to crack his second grand slam of the season, sailing high over the right field wall to give the Huskies a 6-3 lead.
Duluth would add one more in the eighth to make the final score 7-3.
In all, the Mallards used eight different pitchers on Saturday night. Brian Smith started the game and went two innings. He was followed by Craig Meier and Allan Donato. After Donato, the Ducks began using position players on the hill. Mitch Saum went one inning plus and Dressman pitched an inning as well. Oliver followed with two-thirds of an inning before Wayne Bond came on to finish the frame. Gary Arndt capped off the long list of pitchers on Saturday with an inning of work in the eighth.
In the midst of the loss, the Mallards had one player achieve something rather rare. Oliver, typically known as a catcher, played in the game at all nine field positions.
Game one of the Mallards first-round playoff series will take place Monday, August 14, at the Duck Pond. The Ducks will take on the Rochester Honkers, the South Division?s first-half champion. The Northwoods League first-round playoff series follows a one-two format meaning game one will be at the Duck Pond with games two and three taking place in Rochester.
The Mallards will offer a bus ride to game-two in Rochester on Tuesday, August 15. For just 30 dollars, fans can receive a ride on the bus and a ticket to the game. The bus will depart Madison at approximately 2:30 p.m. and return following the conclusion of the game. The bus will return regardless of the outcome of the game.
Tickets for the Mallards first-round playoff game are on sale now! Order yours now by visiting www.mallardsbaseball.com or calling 246.4277.