Mallards Walk-Off Again, This Time Against Bullfrogs
by Peter Geppert
Madison, WI. July 16, 2012 – A two out walk-off single from Mallards third baseman Nicholas Howard (Virginia) in the ninth inning, completed a 5-4 comeback win for the Madison Mallards (8-3, 24-22) over the Green Bay Bullfrogs (4-7, 26-20). With the win the Mallards took the opener of their two game series against the Bullfrogs and are in a position to sweep the series with a victory in tomorrow night’s finale.
The Bullfrogs began the scoring in the second inning when catcher Chris Hoo (Cal Poly) was able to score from third base on a wild pitch by Mallards starting pitcher Daniel Gibson (Florida). After leading off with a double, Hoo took advantage of a low fastball off the shin guard of Mallards catcher Taylor Gushue (Florida) to take home and give the Bullfrogs the lead.
The advantage did not last long though, as the Mallards responded in the bottom half of the inning with a sacrifice fly by Gushue. With runners on second and third, Gushue lifted a ball to right field that was deep enough to let first baseman Jeff Zimmerman (Northern Illinois) to tag up from third and score.
The Mallards looked to be in prime position to blow the game open in the fourth inning, after Bullfrogs starter Taylor Black (Texas State) loaded the bases by walking two and allowing an infield single. Black (4-1) got out of the jam by getting Gushue and designated hitter Jack Livingston (Northwestern) to strike out swinging, then forcing second baseman Mike Reuvekamp (California) to ground out to second base.
The Bullfrogs would not make the same mistake in the following inning, loading the bases off of Gibson (2-2) and capitalizing with three runs. The Bullfrogs took the lead with an RBI single by second baseman Jason McMurray (Notre Dame) and added another run when an error by Gibson allowed Bullfrogs right fielder Brian Celsi (California) to score from third base. The Bullfrogs would score one more when on a 4-6-3 double play with no outs allowed designated hitter Nick Stein (Coe College) to cross home plate from third.
The Mallards responded in the sixth inning when a fielding error by Bullfrogs shortstop Ransom Lalonde (St. Edwards) allowed Zimmerman to score from third, making the score 4-2.
A two run homer in the seventh inning by Derek Fisher (Virginia), his second of the season, off of Bullfrogs reliever Dylan Mendoza (Texas State) erased a two run deficit and gave the Mallards new life.
The Mallards completed their comeback in the ninth inning with Howard’s single to right field that drove in shortstop Tom Verdi (Connecticut) from third base to give the Mallards the 5-4 win.
Mallards reliever Hobie McClain (New Mexico) picked up the win for the Mallards, after a scoreless ninth inning of relief to setup the Mallards win.
Bullfrogs reliever Bud Jeter (Presbyterian) was the loser for the Bullfrogs after giving up the walk-off RBI single to Howard in the ninth. Through 2.1 innings the right-hander surrendered one run on two hits and three walks.
News and Notes:
Howard’s hit allowed the Mallards to walk-off for the fifth time this year. It was the second time this year that the team ended a game via a single, with the last time coming June 2nd off the bat of second baseman Luis Munoz (Coffeyville CC).
The Mallards will play the finale of their two game series against the Bullfrogs tomorrow, July 17th at the “Duck Pond.” That night will be Sustain Dane Mallards Go Green Night at the ballpark. Also featured that evening will be the New Belgium Brewing Company’s Bike, Bell, and Beer Night and UW Health EMS Appreciation Night. First pitch of that game is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
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.