Mallards Start Second Round of Inter-Division Play Today in Willmar
By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations
Willmar, Minnesota — August 6, 2013. The Madison Mallards (16-14, 37-26) will start inter-division play again today, but this time it will be away from the ‘Duck Pond,’ as the team will travel to Willmar, Minnesota to take on the Stingers (13-16, 36-28). First pitch is slated for 7:05 pm.
The Mallards saw momentum swing back their way in last night’s 4-3 nail-biting win over the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters by ending a six-game losing streak. They didn’t do much against Rafters starter Brad Stroik (UW-Stevens Point) by striking out nine times and managing only one run against him, but strung together some extra base hits in the last couple of innings.
Down 2-1 in the eighth, Drew Weeks (North Florida) belted a towering shot over the left-center fence off of reliever Tyler Willman (Western Illinois) with one out in the inning. Mike Fitzgerald (Indiana State) and Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) then smacked consecutive doubles to give the Mallards a 3-2 lead and would tack on an insurance run after Erik Forgione (Washington)—who reached on an infield single earlier in the inning—scored on a wild pitch.
Unsurprisingly, the insurance run was well needed, as the Rafters loaded the bases in the ninth off of Sam Forkert (Marian). Zack Belanger (Long Beach State) hit a sac fly to left to make it 4-3 with two outs and Forkert then got Michael Jurgella (St. Cloud State) to fly out to right on a first-pitch fastball.
On the mound tonight for the Mallards will be 6’8” freshman Taylore Cherry (North Carolina). The Dayton, Ohio native will square off against the Stingers for the second time in as many weeks and will look for better results this time around. He needed 61 pitches to get through just two innings against the Stingers and allowed five runs (two earned) on six hits and walked a pair of batters. Willmar would go on to win that game by a score of 10-7 and it would mark the second game of a losing streak that would extend to six games. On the season, Cherry holds a record of 1-0 with a 3.50 ERA.
Weeks the Record-Holder
With a solo home run to tie things up at two in the eighth last night, Weeks tied the Mallards single-season RBI record with 57. He now shares the record with Jeff Zimmerman, who knocked in 57 runs just last season.
The Mallards will conclude a two-game series against the Stingers tomorrow with another 7:05 pm but will continue the inter-division play Thursday. They close out their six-game road trip with a pair of games against the Mankato MoonDogs on Thursday and Friday. Both of those games are scheduled for 7:05 pm as well.
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! Roy Sievers, a former MLB All-Star, will also be making an appearance. 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.