Mallards Split with Rafters
by Brett Blaske
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. July 4, 2012 – The Madison Mallards (16-19) had their four game win streak snapped by the score of 9-3 at the hands of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (16-18) on a sweltering Independence Day at Witter Field. The win allowed the Rafters to avoid being swept by the Mallards in finale of their two game series.
After a quick three up and three down top of the first for the Mallards, the Rafters offense got off to a quick start in the bottom half of the frame. Mallards starter Daniel Gibson (Florida) walked the leadoff hitter shortstop Jordan Dreiling (Kansas) and allowed a single to center fielder Brandon Downes (Virginia). An error by Mallards left fielder Jack Livingston(Northwestern) when he dropped a fly ball in foul territory allowed designated hitter Pat Kelly (Nebraska) to send home Dreiling with a single. With two runners on, left fielder Austin Neary (Western Carolina) hit a towering shot to left, scoring Brandon Downs and Pat Kelly- all three unearned runs- to make the score 4-0.
The Mallards threatened to comeback in the second inning when third baseman Nicholas Howard (Virginia) led the inning off with a single. Jack Livingston followed in the order and was hit by Rafters starter Tommy Organ (Northern Florida). With two on for center fielder John Welborn (UT-San Antonio) the Mallards succeeded in the double steal and forced an errant throw from Rapids catcher A. Gretz (Ohio State) allowing Howard to score from third base. Wellborn singled and scored Livingston making the score 4-2. Second baseman Luis Munoz (Coffeyville CC) was hit by pitch, and designated Hitter Tom Verdi(Connecticut) singled, loading the bases for first Baseman Tyler Marincov(North Florida). The college teammates squared off but Organ (1-3) got the better of Marincov, forcing the him into the 1-2-3 double play.
The Rapids answered right back in the next inning. Kelly (Nebraska) singled and then stole second base. Third baseman Brandon Hohl (Illinois) followed by getting on base with a single, and Neary continued his excellent day at the plate getting his fourth RBI when his single sent home Kelly. First baseman Joshua Cyr (Northern Alabama) plated one more run in the inning making the score 6-2.
Verdi batted in the only other run of the day for the Mallards in the fourth inning, when he sent Livingston home.
Gibson (1-2) took his second loss on the season in his first start. He pitched four innings, gave up nine hits and seven runs, four of them earned. He walked just one but struck out only three Rapids batters.
Rafters starter Tommy Organ (North Florida) earned his first win of the season. In the first, third, fifth, and six innings, Organ faced the minimum of Mallards hitters and worked out of jams when needed. Organ allowed six hits in seven innings of work and walked one while striking out two.
The game was delayed in the fifth inning when then home plate umpire Allen Barnfield showed signs of dehydration and was later replaced by a non-Northwoods League umpire. Reports indicate that Barnfield will be fine and ready for his next game.
The Mallards return to the “Duck Pond” on Thursday July 5th to begin a three game series with the Express. That night will be the Jay Hazen Dentistry for Madison Vintage Bobble Boy giveaway and Badger Honor Flight Military Appreciation Night. The night begins the second half of the season for the Mallards, looking to make a push for a second half playoff spot.
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.