Mallards lose season opener to Beetles, 4-3

In their season opener Thursday night, the Mallards fell 4-3 to the Alexandria Beetles at Knute Nelson Park. Starting pitcher Matt Jansen gave up four runs in five innings, and the Mallards missed several opportunities to drive in runs in the loss.


After outfielder Kurtis Muller (Iowa) led off the game with a double to right field, Alexandria hurler Mitch Handley (North Alabama) struck out the next three batters to end the threat.


In the second inning with one out, first baseman Harold Riggins (NC State) doubled and Ben Long (UW-Milwaukee) walked, but Chris Barker (MATC) couldn’t pick up a hit with the runner in scoring position.


In the bottom half of the frame, the Beetles came back with consecutive singles followed by a Jansen error to load the bases. Jansen was able to get one out before walking in a run, but induced a double play to get out of the jam.


One inning later, Adam McClain hit a one out double, then moved over to third base on a wild pitch. However, for the third straight inning, the Mallards were unable to produce a base hit with a runner in scoring position.


In the top of the fifth, McClain hit his second double of the game, this time driving in Muller to tie the game at 1-1. Troy Channing (St. Mary’s) then hit a ground ball up the middle to drive in McClain, giving the Mallards a 2-1 lead.


The Beetles countered in the bottom half of the frame, scoring three runs on three base hits to retake a 4-2 lead before McClain made the final putout of the



But the Mallards weren’t done. In the next inning, the Mallards loaded the bases on a single and two walks with nobody out. After Muller lined out to the shortstop, McClain knocked in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to one run.


However, the Beetles pitching would halt any Mallards rally for the rest of the game. In the eight inning, Long and Barker both struck out before Muller doubled for the second time. But McClain lined out to left field to complete the inning, and end the Mallards’ chances of coming back in the eighth inning.


The most impressive pitching performance of the night came from Mallards southpaw Kyle Heim (Iowa). In his two innings of work, he struck out four batters and did not allow a single player to reach base.


In the ninth inning, the Mallards made their final push to tie the game. Shortstop Joe De Pinto (USC) led off the inning with a perfect bunt down the first baseline for an infield single. He then advanced to second base on a wild pitch and stole third base to put the tying run 90 feet away. Riggins reached base, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position, but Brad Allen (Elgin CC) popped out to end the threat and end the game.


The Mallards finish their set in Alexandria tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. before heading to Brainerd to take on the Lunkers for a two game set. Listen to the game live on ESPN Radio 100.5 FM or online at

The Mallards Charter Communications Opening Day presented by Signature Graphics is Monday, June 1 at 7:05 p.m. against the Rochester Honkers! All fans will receive a poster schedule & fans 18 & older will have the chance to win great cash prizes courtesy of the Wisconsin Lottery. To boot, former Milwaukee Brave All-Star Johnny Logan will be in attendance to sign autographs and fans can meet US Airways hero pilot & Oregon, Wis. native Jeff Skiles! Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m.


To purchase tickets for Opening Day please click here or call us at 608.246.4277 today!