by Brett Blaske
Wausau, WI. July 18, 2012 – In a battle between the top two teams in the Northwoods League’s South Division, a pitchers duel that featured Madison Mallards’ starter Kurt Giller (Florida) and Wisconsin Woodchucks’ starter Adam Kramer (Wake Forest) broke out at Athletic Park. The game was scoreless through three innings, but in the fourth, Giller allowed the leadoff man Brandon Hayden (Virginia Tech) to score off a Brad McKewon (Creighton) single, and that was all the Woodchucks needed to take the first game of the series. With the loss the Mallards fall to 9-4 in the second half, while the Woodchucks improve to 12-1.
Madison Mallards’ starter Kurt Giller (Florida) pitched well in 4.1 innings of work but he was on the hook for the tough luck loss. Giller gave up 2 runs on three hits and struck out 6, matching his season high, but issued four walks.
The fourth inning began when Giller walked the lead off Woodchucks hitter, Brandon Hayden, a Northwoods League All Star. McKewon advanced to second on a wild pitch, and was sent home by Woodchucks’ left fielder Brad McKewon. With a full count, McKewon ripped the pitch to the gap in right center and made the score 1-0.
Giller returned for the fifth but after he allowed a single to Woodchucks catcher Nate Irving (Virginia) and issued a walk to Brooks Braga (La Crosse), also an All Star, Giller’s night was finished, and it was Anthony Marzi (Connecticut) who was called to pitch in relief.
When Marzi made his appearance, so did the rain. Marzi, a Northwoods League All Star, faced Woodchucks center fielder Eric Filia-Snyder (UCLA) and gave up an RBI single to make the game 2-0.
Just after the run scored, home plate umpire Zach Tieche delayed the game for lightening. The rain simply kept coming and after an hour and a half delay, the game was called. Because the game went the necessary five innings, no make up date is required, instead the 2-0 score stands as final.
Wisconsin Woodchucks’ starter Adam Kramer (1-0) worked efficiently throughout the game. In the first and fifth innings, he faced the minimum amount of batters. In his five full innings of work, Kramer—a Wausau native—gave up no runs on three hits. He struck out two and walked two more.
The Mallards return to the “Duck Pond” to finish their series with the Woodchucks on Thursday, July 19th. That night will be the much anticipated Bacon Appreciation Night as well as St. Mary’s GoldenCare Grandparent Appreciation Night.
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.