By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations
Madison, WI — July 28, 2013. The Madison Mallards (15-8, 36-20) will play the Mankato MoonDogs (13-8, 30-26) Sunday afternoon at the ‘Duck Pond’ to kick off this season’s inter-division play. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 pm.
The MoonDogs enter the two-game series against the Mallards 4.5 games back of the division-leading Waterloo Bucks (18-4) in the second half standings and 12 games back of the Bucks’ 42-14 overall record.
The Mallards, meanwhile, are 1.5 games behind the Lakeshore Chinooks (16-6) in the second half standings but clinched a playoff berth after winning the first half. They are coming off of an 18-hit performance last night in the final game of a three-game series against the Battle Creek Bombers.
Battle Creek’s Rouric Bridgewater (Arizona State) gave the Bombers a quick 3-0 lead in the first after smacking a home run to left but the Mallards would regain the lead just one inning later after recording six straight hits in the second. They would add two more in the third and three more in the seventh and eventually won 9-4.
Every player in the Mallards lineup finished with at least two hits besides Ryan McShane (Madison College), who went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two walks. Alex Bacon (North Florida), who was playing in his first game with the Mallards, was the lone Mallards batter with three hits. He also scored two runs.
Reilly Hovis went five innings and gave up four runs (all earned) on five hits to improve to 3-1 on the season while Sam Forkert (Marianz) pitched from the sixth inning on to record his third save.
Starting on the hill today for the Mallards will be 6’6,” 250-pound Andrew Arenson (Carthage). The native of Naperville, Illinois is coming off of a stellar start against the Green Bay Bullfrogs on July 19th. He allowed no runs on just four hits over five innings and struck out six. His two walks he surrendered over those five innings is also impressive considering his five-walk performance in one inning at La Crosse on July 16th.
Going up against Arenson will be Mankato’s Cameron Giannini (Southern Miss). The 6’3,” 235-pounder from Danville, Virginia is 5-1 with a 2.29 ERA this season and was a North Division All Star. He struck out the only two batters he faced in the midseason classic and has two starts this year in which he went eight innings and allowed no runs on five hits or less.
Slowing Down the MoonDogs Duo
Arenson and the rest of the Mallards pitching staff might have trouble against a pair of MoonDogs sluggers during the two-game series. Zack Zehner (Cal Poly) and John Michael Twichell (UT-Arlington) have hit seven of the MoonDogs 11 home runs over the last 10 games and have knocked in 21 runs over the same stretch. Zehner is hitting .331 with four long balls and 27 RBIs on the season while Twichell is hitting .281 with 12 home runs and 33 RBIs.
Nine Mallards will play in the Northwoods League Big League Dreams Showcase tomorrow at the ‘Duck Pond.’ There will be a doubleheader featuring the top 100 pro prospects in the Northwoods League. The Mallards players will play in the nightcap, which is scheduled for a 7:05 pm start.
The Alliant Energy South Central Library System Reading Night will take place tomorrow as well as the African Americans of Tomorrow Community Connection Night.
The Madison Mallards are your Northwoods League South Division First Half Champions! Playoff 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 is celebrating its 20th season.