Mallards End Season with Tough Loss

The Madison Mallards took a long, deliberate path to reach the playoffs, but the postseason ended as quickly as it began. After a 7-1 loss to the Rochester Honkers at home last night, the Mallards took a 2-1 loss in Rochester tonight to end the Northwoods League South Division Championship series. Rochester took the best-of-three series 2-0.

The Mallards were again haunted by a bane that had plagued the team all season ? a lack of offense. They managed only three hits and one run over the duration of the game.

Rochester began the scoring in the bottom of the first as, for the second straight night, the Honkers hit a solo home run in the first inning. Tonight Jason White led off the inning with the homer tonight.

The Honkers got a second run in the fifth inning. Eric Hoffman led off with a hit that hopped over the left field wall for a ground-rule double. Hoffman then advanced on Kyle Bowley?s sacrifice bunt. Then, with two outs, Kevin Drever hit a single to bring in Hoffman.

In the first and second innings, the Mallards managed two-out walks, but would not manage another base runner off Honkers starter Ryan Bird until Jordan Wolf reached first with a two-out single in the sixth inning. But then Mike Rohde flied out to left field.

After a strikeout, Randy Molina then reached base with a walk. Following the base on balls, Tommy Lentz hit a double down the left-field line. Molina, who was determined to reach home did just that as he beat out a throw at the plate to make the score 2-1 Honkers.

Adam Tollefson came in to pitch the seventh inning for the Mallards. He induced two
flyouts, allowed a walk, and then induced one more flyout to end the inning.

Randy Wild, who pitched the eighth for the Honkers set down the three batters he faced in order. Jake Toohey, who set the Northwoods league record for single-season saves with 24, came in to finish off the game. He struck out Mike Rohde and then allowed a single to Jordan Comadena before striking out Molina in a long at-bat and retiring Tommy Lentz on a fly to left.

Adam Mills (pictured below) allowed two runs in six innings to take the loss.

The Mallards 2006 season ends with a 36-32 record. The team set the league record with a 2.18 team ERA. The Mallards would like to thank all the fans who came to Rochester, and all those who cheered for the Mallards throughout the season.