by Peter Geppert
Madison, WI- June 30. A three run ninth inning rally, completed by a walk off error by Loggers third baseman Kevin Kramer (UCLA) that was put in play by first baseman Jeff Zimmerman (Norhtern Illinois) allowed the Madison Mallards (14-18) to walk off 9-8 winners over the La Crosse Loggers (22-9). The comeback, that included two ties and three lead changes, allowed the Mallards to take the rubber match of the three game series.
Mallards right fielder Tyler Marincov (North Florida) picked up right where he left off from his previous night’s performance, homering in his second straight game to give the Mallards a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Mallards added on one more run that inning with another solo shot, this time off the bat of Zimmerman.
In the fourth inning the Mallards added a run on a sacrifice fly by center fielder John Welborn (Texas-San Antonio) that was deep enough to allow third baseman Nicholas Howard (Virginia) to tag up and narrowly beat the throw to home by Loggers center fielder Boomer Collins (Dallas Baptist).
Mallards starter Matt LaMothe (Georgia State) was able to keep the Loggers hitless through four innings but would be tagged for three runs in the fifth inning on four hits. After RBI hits from Collins and second baseman Brenden Farney (California) a line drive up the middle by designated hitter Austin Bailey (San Diego) scored Farney to tie the score at three.
The Loggers took a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning with an RBI single by Kramer that scored shortstop Matt Chapman (Cal State Fullerton) from second base. A two run homer by right fielder Jimmy Bosco (Arkansas) extended the Loggers lead to three.
The Mallards battled back to tie the game in the seventh inning with a two run homer by designated hitter Jack Livingston (Northwestern), his first of the season, and Marincov’s second solo homer of the game.
Bosco would have none of it though, launching a two run home run for the second time in the game in the eighth inning to give the Loggers an 8-6 lead.
There would be no quit in the Mallards as they came back in the ninth inning to score three runs off of Loggers reliever Jonathon Van Eaton (Memphis) to walk off with the win. With the bases loaded Marincov was able to drive a hard liner up the middle to score Livingston and shortstop Tom Verdi (Connecticut) to tie the game.
With two outs and runners on first and second Zimmerman grounded a ball to the third baseman
Kramer, who was unable to field it cleanly and allowed pinch hitter Taylor Gushue (Florida) to score from third base and win the game.
Mallards reliever Daniel Gibson (Florida) got the win after pitching a scoreless inning of relief in the ninth to set up the Mallards comeback. Through 1.0 inning the lefty allowed no runs on one hit.
Van Eaton (0-1) had his first blown save of the season in seven opportunities and was subsequently tagged with the loss after allowing the third run. Through 0.1 innings on the mound Van Eaton gave up three runs on four hits.
With two home runs today, his first multi-home run game of the season, Marincov tied Harold Riggins (2009), Kyle Gaedele (2010), and Nate Theunissen (2011) for the single season franchise record in home runs with nine.
Today was the deadline for all Northwoods League teams to either sign their temporary players to full time contracts or waive them. The Mallards were one of many teams to be active at the deadline. Pitcher Sam Forkert (Marian) was one player that was waived, while LaMothe, utility man Mike Reuvekamp (California), and pitcher Will Lamarche (Chabot College) were signed to full time contracts.
The Mallards finish their three game weekend home stand with a one game set against the Express tomorrow July 1st. That night will be the much anticipated Great Dane Protest Maynard Bobblehead giveaway.
The 2012 season is upon us! Single-game tickets are on-sale for all Mallards home games!
The Madison Mallards are part of the 16-team Northwoods League. The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games, and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate League in North America.