Fitzgerald’s Career Night Lifts Mallards to 9-1 Victory

By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations

Madison, WI — June 1, 2013. Catcher Mike Fitzgerald’s first two career hits for the Mallards were ones to remember. The 6’1,” 207-pounder from Indiana State hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh while down one against Loggers reliever Michael Lowden (California) to put the Mallards on the board and give them a 3-1 lead. He then clubbed a grand slam on a 2-0 pitch in the next inning to put the Mallards up 9-1, which ended up being the final score. 

Fitz_swingingThe Mallards had just three hits prior to his bomb in the seventh, prompting an otherwise quiet “Duck Pond” crowd up to that point to erupt. He finished 2-for-4 with two home runs and seven RBIs and entered the game hitless on the season in six at-bats.

Mallards reliever Nick Smith (Western Illinois) secured the victory. He gave up one earned run in the seventh while giving up one hit and walking one. Lowden took the loss and pitched 1.2 innings while giving up three earned runs on three hits.  

Mallards starter Jamie Nunn (Appalachian State) took a no-hitter into the the top of the fifth inning, but Loggers designated hitter Cameron Rowland broke it up with a single up the middle. He went six innings, allowed only two hits and struck out one. Hunter May (UNC-Charlotte) pitched the final two innings for the Mallards. He struck out two and didn’t allow a hit.

The Mallards struggled early against Loggers starter Josh Frye (Long Beach State). The 6’7,” 205-pounder only allowed two hits in his five innings of work but walked six. His pitch count stood at 87 after the fifth. 

The other two RBIs from the Mallards came in the eighth before Fitzgerald’s grand slam. Geonte Jackson walked in designated hitter Ryan Bull (Notre Dame) followed by left fielder Drew Weeks’ (North Florida) infield single in the next at-bat to round out the Mallards’ scoring plays. 

Loggers reliever Ben Cejka gave up six earned runs off of four hits in his 1.1 innings of work.

The only serious threat the Mallards managed against Frye came in the second inning after Frye walked second baseman Eric Cheray (Missouri State) and first baseman Jeff Zahn. Cheray reached third on a passed ball, giving the Mallards runners on first and third with one out but right fielder Tate Matheny (Missouri State) grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

The win improves the Mallards record to 2-1 while La Crosse drops to 2-2.

The Mallards will travel to Green Bay Sunday for a two-game road trip. First pitch for tomorrow is slated for 1:05 pm. They return home Tuesday for a 7:05 pm game against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. Tuesday night is Maynard’s Birthday Party at the “Duck Pond!” Fans are encouraged to bring a toy for Maynard to donate to charity. That night also marks Spectrum Brands Night.

The 2013 season is upon is! Single-game tickets are on-sale now!

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 Baseball League in North America. In 2013, the Northwoods League will celebrate its 20th season.