In another low-scoring affair Friday, the Mallards dropped their fifth loss out of six games at the hands of the Thunder Bay Border Cats in the first of the two-game series at the Duck Pond. The 3-2 loss counted for the Mallards eighth loss of the season and continued the trend of close defeats – all but one of the Mallards’ eight losses have been within two runs.
The Border Cats needed one swing to cross all of their runs for the evening, as Temple Macdonald crushed a three-run homer over the right-field wall into the Duck Blind to take a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Madison made things interesting yet again, stringing together a two-run rally. Justin Bristow (pictured) led off the inning as a pinch hitter for Chris Roberts. After battling Chris Lemay to a full-count walk, Matt Behren came away with a single to left field, which allowed Bristow to advance to third. Bristow scored on a wild pitch to put the Mallards on the board, and Michael Hubbard, who ran for Behren, crossed after an error by the Cats’ third baseman. The rally was cut short, however, as reliever Steven Vasquez regrouped to retire Neil Medchill.
After the rally, the Mallards were held hitless and could not get anything going to turn around their losing skid. A large part of their struggles were accredited to a lack of offensive production, as Thunder Bay’s pitching staff combined for five hits and a walk, led by starter Lemay.
Lemay (1-1), who earned the win, pitched 6.1 innings and let up all of the Mallards’ five hits, as well as the two runs scored (1 earned). For Madison, Michael Hutts (1-1) took the loss, throwing 5.1 innings with eight hits and three runs (all earned) against him. On a positive note, newly acquired pitcher Steve Gilganbach of Arkansas Little Rock closed the final 1.2 innings with three strikeouts and one hit allowed.
Jordan Comadena led the Mallards offensive attack with two hits, but could not produce any runs.
Saturday is the final game of the four-game homestand, and the Mallards will be finishing the series against the Border Cats. Saturday is Summertime St. Patty’s Day at the Duck Pond. The Mallards will be serving green beer, and the first 1,000 fans receive green t-shirts. Live music from the Kissers after fireworks after the game!
Great tickets are still available! Order online at mallardsbaseball.com or call 246.4277.