By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin — August 4, 2013. The Madison Mallards (16-14, 37-26) came back from an eight-run deficit by scoring nine runs over three innings Sunday, but the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (10-18, 29-34) walked in a run and hit a grand slam in the seventh to come out on top 14-10.
The Rafters had another five-run inning in the fourth but only one of those runs was earned and all came with two outs. The Mallards responded in the next half inning with five runs of their own and completed the comeback by scoring a pair in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the next half inning, Mallards reliever Charlie Naso (Illinois) was inches away from not allowing a single run. George Ragsdale (Virginia) worked a full count with two outs and the bases loaded and checked his swing on a breaking ball from Naso, but the appeal to the field umpire stated that he held up, allowing the Rafters to tie things at 10. Danny Sullivan (Davenport) then came in but allowed Donnie Dewees (North Florida) to hit a grand slam to dead center in the next at-bat.
The Mallards went down in order in the eighth but put two runners on after an Alex Bacon (North Florida) double and a Brock Stewart (Illinois State) walk in the ninth.
Mallards starter Andrew Arenson (Carthage) went just three innings in his third start of the year and allowed four runs (all earned) on seven hits and walked one while striking out three. Naso suffered the loss and drops to 0-1 while Brent Mueller (UW-Stout) got the win by recording the last out in the seventh.
Rafters catcher Michael Jurgella (St. Cloud State) and third baseman Marcus Wheeler (Kansas) combined for six of the Rafters 18 hits on the night. Jurgella went 3-for-5 with three RBIs while Wheeler, who bats in the No. 8 spot in the lineup, went 3-for-5 with three runs. Dewees ended up going 2-for-4 with five RBIs and three runs scored.
Three Mallards players had multiple hits on the night and Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) led the way with three. The leadoff hitter finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Joe McCarthy (Virginia) had a bases-clearing triple in the fifth and went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored while Bacon hit a solo home run in the seventh and went 2-for-5.
The Mallards will wrap up a two-game series against the Rafters Monday night at 7:05 pm and will then travel to Willmar, Minnesota to take on the Stingers on Tuesday. First pitch for that game is set for 7:05 pm. The Mallards close out their six-game road trip with a pair of games against the Mankato MoonDogs on Thursday and Friday. Both games are scheduled for 7:05 pm.
The Mallards return home on Saturday, August 10th against the Lakeshore Chinooks for a 6:05 pm game. There will be a Mallards Trading Card Giveaway presented by Charter Communications and it will also be Back to School Night! The United Way Community Connection Night will also take place that night and Budweiser will provide post-game fireworks.
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.