Any true Mallards fan was keeping an eye on two scores Sunday — Madison’s and Eau Claire’s. It was an exciting night for baseball in the Northwoods League, as the Ducks held onto their lead in nail-biting fashion to defeat the Green Bay Bullfrogs 9-8, while the Eau Claire Express rallied from behind to take the La Crosse Loggers into extra innings, eventually earning the win on a walk-off grand slam. With both teams winning, the Express maintain their half-game advantage over the Mallards, who have now won a franchise-high 12-consecutive games.
Madison owned an 8-1 lead heading into the fifth inning, but Jim Sajewich got into trouble, conceding four runs just one out into the fifth. Once he was replaced by Travis High (W, 2-1), the Mallards managed to hold the Bullfrogs scoreless until the bottom of the ninth.
Up 9-5 heading into the top half of the final frame, reliable closer Bubba O’Donnell allowed Green Bay to put the tying run on first base with two outs. Despite facing trouble, O’Donnell fielded a comeback chopper to retire the side.
The teams combined for 23 hits, and seven batters in the game recorded multiple hits, including Madison’s Brandon Wikoff, Randy Molina and Daniel Webb (pictured).
Webb finished batting 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Also contributing run support was Molina, who scored twice and knocked in three.
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The same teams will face off for the series finale Monday in what could bring the Mallards’ 1-millionth franchise fan. Once that fan arrives, the Mallards will remember the moment with a statue of the 1-millionth fan’s likeness at the front gate of the Duck Pond.
Monday is World Frogleg Eating Championship presented by the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters, as the Mallards play the Green Bay Bullfrogs. Educator Night. Special offers for area teachers. Schoeps Ice Cream Mini Batting Helmet Night – First 1,000 fans 14 and under.