By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations
Madison, WI — July 31, 2013. Runs would come in bunches for both teams Wednesday night at the “Duck Pond” but three home runs from the Willmar Stingers (10-13, 33-25) would be the difference in a 10-7 win over the Madison Mallards (16-10, 37-22).
Bad luck hit the Mallards and reliever Omar Ugarte (Louisiana Tech) in a five-run fifth for the Stingers. Zack Tillery (Florida Gulf Coast) hit a two-run home run early in the inning to tie things at six but Ugarte struck out the next two batters. After two singles, Ugarte induced a high pop fly to center field but Tate Matheny (Missouri State) lost the ball and gave Jake Gronski (Monmouth) a two-RBI double. Ugarte induced another popup in the next at-bat to nearly the exact same spot but Matheny lost it in the grayish-purple sky again and allowed the Stingers to gain a three-run lead.
The Mallards pulled within two one inning later after Jason Goldstein (Illinois) walked in a run but Willmar would regain a three-run lead two innings later in the eighth on a solo shot from Michael Suchy (Florida Gulf Coast).
The first Stingers home run of the night came in the first after the Mallards corner infielders recorded errors and Mallards starter Corey Fischer (Madison College) walked a batter. Stingers cleanup hitter Marc Flores (Hawaii) then hit an opposite field grand slam on an 0-1 offering from Fischer.
The Mallards scored six of their seven runs by sending 10 to the plate in the third off of Stingers starter Sheldon Lee (San Francisco). Jeff Zahn (Indiana State) and Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) led the way in the inning and each knocked in a pair of runs.
Ugarte was tagged with the loss on the night and falls to 0-1 on the year while Stingers reliever Nick Bates (St. Louis) received the win by pitching the fourth and fifth. He improves to 3-1. Bobby McCormack (Baylor) pitched three innings before handing it over to Cody Hughes (Montevallo) for the final out. Hughes got Alex Bacon (North Florida) out on a warning track fly ball with a runner on third to end it.
Geonte Jackson (San Jacinto CC) and Goldstein paced the Mallards offensively by each recording two hits. Jackson went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored while Goldstein finished 2-for-2 with three walks, a run scored and an RBI. Ruchim also had a solid day at the plate by going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
Flores led the Stingers by going 3-for-5 with four RBIs and a run scored while Tillery was right behind him by finishing 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
The Mallards will play the series finale against the Stingers at the “Duck Pond” at 7:05 pm Thursday. The Mallards will then host the La Crosse Loggers Friday and Saturday night. Friday night’s game is scheduled for 7:05 pm while Saturday’s is set for a 6:05 pm start.
There will be an appearance from Larry Thomas, the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld on Thursday! It is also Globe University Dog Day at the Park! There will also be a team poster giveaway and the Dane County Humane Society Community Connection Night will be held.
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.