Preview: Pair of second-place clubs in Mallards, River Bats battle Monday
St. Cloud might have flashbacks to the first meeting between these clubs on June 5, when Adam McClain (Memphis) hit a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning to give the Mallards a 9-5 victory and send 6,252 fans home happy.
St. Cloud, MN – August 3, 2009. Eight regular season games now separate the 2009 Madison Mallards from the opportunity to take hold of the Northwoods League South Division Second Half Championship and return trip to the postseason as the team now heads to St. Cloud to battle the River Bats Monday at 7:05 p.m.
The Mallards (14-11) are now one-half game behind first-place La Crosse (15-11) as the Loggers make the trek west to take on the Battle Creek Bombers (13-14) who have playoff aspirations of their own as they sit 2.5 games out of first.
Madison will send right-hander Alex Rivers (Santa Clara) to the hill tonight to make his eighth start of the season as he has posted a 2-2 record and 2.90 ERA over 40.1 innings thus far. In his last start on July 28 he picked up his second win after allowing four runs (3 earned) over six innings while striking out seven batters against the Bombers. This is Rivers first start against the River Bats.
St. Cloud with counter with right hander Hunter Carnevale (Pacific) who will be making his first start of the season. He has only appeared in one game and received a win on July 30 after allowing one earned run in five innings of relief work.
In the first and only meeting between these two teams, the Mallards swept the two-game series back on June 5-6 in memorable fashion as the first game will forever be remembered as the game Adam McClain (Memphis) lifted a 2-0 pitch into the Mallards bullpen in left-center field for a game-winning grand slam and the team recorded its league-best seventh victory in the season’s first nine games.
In that June 5th game, Brad Allen (Elgin CC) received the start and allowed four runs (2 earned) on seven hits while throwing five innings. However, he picked up the no-decision for his efforts. Departed left-handed reliever Kyle Heim (Iowa) picked up his first win of the season by throwing a perfect ninth inning to give the Mallards the chance to win it their final at-bat. Heim was selected in the 44th round of this past MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and is now a member of its Rookie Affiliate, the Johnson City Cardinals.
In game two of that early-season series also-departed Matt Morgan (Purdue) received the start and allowed three earned runs in 5.1 innings, while striking out six batters. Right-hander Joe Yermal (Charlotte), who also left the team in June due to arm tightness, relieved Morgan in the sixth inning and ended up receiving the victory for only recording the last two outs in that frame. The aforementioned Heim pitched a scoreless ninth inning later in the game to pick up his first save of the season.
There are a lot of similarities between these two clubs. For one, both teams find themselves just one-half game out of first place as St. Cloud (16-9) is a mere .003 behind the Rochester Honkers (18-10).
Both teams also posted the same record in July at 15-12 and both haven’t had much luck in coming back from deficits after seven innings in posting identical 3-22 marks in those situations.
Neither are very fond of doubleheaders too, as the Mallards didn’t record a single victory in four games while St. Cloud only won a game.
Catch all Mallards action on the road by dialing in to FM 100.5 ESPN or by visiting espnmadison.com for a live stream of the games. To view the games simply click on “Game Day” on the homepage of Mallardsbaseball.com to be directed to live video!
The Mallards return home this Friday, August 7 for their final four regular season games at the “Duck Pond.” Friday will be Dejope Gaming Little Bit of Vegas Night with a special appearance by The King! It’ll also be Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar Mini Bat Night for the first 500 kids, 14 & under. Lastly, we’ll announce the winner of the Boston Red Sox Experience to see who won round-trip airfare & two tickets to see the Red Sox battle the hated New York Yankees at Fenway Park on August 22!
Plenty of great seats are still available and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling the box office at 608.246.4277 today!