Mistakes have cost the Mallards their last two decisions, walking in the winning run Sunday at home and committing a throwing error on the road to cross the game-winner Monday against Eau Claire.
The loss gave Madison its second straight loss, shifting the Ducks’ momentum downward after a four-game tear.
After three and a half innings of scoreless baseball, Eau Claire broke the ice, going deep off starting pitcher Jim Sajewich, who filled in for projected pitcher Justin Bristow. Bristow woke up Monday morning with a stomach virus and did not make the 180-mile trip to Eau Claire.
After committing two errors during one play, followed by a walk, Joe Bonfe stepped to the plate and delivered a three-run blast to open the scoring in favor of Eau Claire.
The game wouldn’t be a runaway contest, however, as Michael Hubbard, who replaced an injured Adam Pasono, countered with a two-run homer in the sixth to close the gap to 3-2. He drove in Scott Heitshusen, who advanced on a walk during his at-bat.
The Mallards would also account for the next run, a game-tying solo shot from Bobby Hubbard in the top of the eighth.
But mistakes summarized Monday’s ballgame, as Dan Sorce walked two batters in the bottom half of the inning. On a fielders choice in a later at-bat, second baseman Chris Roberts attempted to retire Mickey Fadness on a fielder’s choice at third, but the throw was well wide, allowing the eventual game-winning run to score. The untimely throw was the third Mallards error of the game.
Sorce (0-1) earned the loss on the night, while Tim Huber (2-0) took the win during his 8.0 innings of work. Huber allowed four hits, three runs and two walks while striking out four.
The Mallards were held to four hits on the night — two coming from the Hubbards’ home runs.
After the series finale Tuesday at Eau Claire, the Mallards return home for a four-game homestand against Green Bay and Thunder Bay.
Fans, be sure to join us Wednesday, June 13, as the Mallards take on the Green Bay Bullfrogs. It’s Dancin’ Maynard G. Mallard bobblehead night! Maynard is dancin’ like it’s 1999 and wants to see you at the Duck Pond! Are you over 21 years old? Then get ready to receive a Red Hook and Genna’s Cocktail Lounge pint glass.
Great seats are still available for all four games during next week’s homestand and can be purchased by visiting mallardsbaseball.com or calling 246.4277.