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Home unbeaten streak reaches 8 games with 9-6 win over Duluth

Box Score

Madison, WI – June 11, 2009. Madison’s Cody Winiarski (MATC) was dialed in, earning his second win of the year in a 9-6 win over Duluth at the “Duck Pond”. The Mallards won their eighth straight at home and 10th in the last 11 games overall in sweeping Duluth in front of 6,242 fans on Thursday night.

Winiarski (2-0) surrendered two runs (none earned) on three hits over 6.2 innings and retired 18 straight Huskies at one point. The sophomore lowered his ERA to under 3.00 and helped Madison to its fourth series sweep at home this year.

“Cody set the tone early,” Pitching Coach Jason Immekus said. “His ability to throw the first pitch for a strike was huge.”

“I really had good control of my changeup. I got a lot of pop ups and ground balls to get out of some plus counts,” Winiarski said.

The only real trouble the young right hander had was in the first inning. Duluth’s Pete Cappetta (Illinois) led off the game with a single to center and then scored on a failed pick off attempt to try and get Zach Walters (San Diego) at first base, making the score 1-0 Huskies. Winiarski then sat down the next two batters and went on to retire the next 16 batters after that while facing the minimum in the next five innings.

In the sixth inning, Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) had taken over for Harold Riggins (NC State) at first base and made a leaping snag to rob Cappetta of extra bases and keep the streak of 16 consecutive batters retired by Winiarski intact.

“When they play defense like that it makes it really easy for me,” Winiarski said of his defense.

Offensively, it was Troy Channing (St. Mary’s) that paced the Mallards with a 2-out, 2-run homer into the visitor’s bullpen in right field to make it 2-1, Madison.

The Mallards (11-3) added two more runs in the fifth inning. Jacob Esch (Georgia Tech) got the offense back in business with a 1-out double just to the right of the 380 ft. sign in center field. Two batters later, Joe De Pinto (USC) and Adam McClain (Memphis) raked in back-to-back RBI doubles themselves to put the Mallards ahead 4-1.

Duluth (7-7) would add a run in the seventh in a mini rally started by Jared Womack (Oklahoma State) who hit a double to right center to end the streak of 18 straight batters sat down by Winiarski. He came around to score on an RBI groundout by Nick McCoy (San Diego).

Madison then answered with a 5-run seventh inning, all coming after an error by the first baseman Tim Jobe (Florida International) allowed De Pinto to reach base. Nine batters came to the plate in an inning that saw seven straight Mallards reach base, including a 3-run double by Sabourin that helped stretch the lead to 9-2.

The Mallard bullpen then hit a rough patch in the ninth inning, but a solid cushion lessened the blow. After 1.1 innings from Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State), who allowed just one hit in his first outing of the season, Dan Burawa (St. John’s) came in and didn’t have as much luck. The Huskies got four runs off of the right hander highlighted by a 2-run home run to deep left field by Scott Sommerfeld (Parkway South H.S.). Brad Allen (Elgin CC) then came in with a 9-6 lead and nailed down his first save of the season.

“It was a bad night, but thankfully we were in a situation with a big lead,” Immekus said of the bullpen. “We’ll be fine.”

The Mallards can’t seem to lose at home and Winiarski thinks it reflects upon the large crowds attracted to the “Duck Pond”.

“Here there’s always a full house,” Winiarski said. “It makes it easy to pitch when you know there’s people there that want to watch us play.”

The next chance to see the Mallards in action will be tomorrow night vs. La Crosse (9-5) who sits tied for third place in the Northwoods League South Division. Madison will send Esch to the mound for his first start this season. The right hander has spent most of his young season at third base, but posted a 4.82 ERA in 14 appearances for Georgia Tech this past season. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.