By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations
Willmar, Minnesota — August 7, 2013. The Madison Mallards (18-14, 39-26) can sweep the Willmar Stingers (13-17, 36-29) with a win tonight less than one week after being the victim of a Stingers sweep at home. First pitch is at 7:05 pm.
The Mallards got a heavy dose of the Stingers potent offense last week and lost 10-7 in both matchups at the ‘Duck Pond.’ But the Mallards bullpen stymied the attack last night in a 4-3 win that included a 1 hour and 29 minute rain delay that started in the second inning.
Ben Neumann (Northern Illinois), Jack Livingston (Northwestern) and Danny Sullivan (Davenport) combined to hold the Stingers to just two runs over the last eight innings and Drew Weeks (North Florida) provided the game-winning RBI in the seventh—which broke the Mallards single-season record—to give the Mallards a 4-3 win.
Neumann got the win by going 4.2 innings without allowing a run and Sullivan notched his fourth save of the season by pitching the ninth. Livingston gave up two runs over the seventh and eighth innings.
A North Carolina Tar Heel will be starting on the hill for the second-consecutive night for the Mallards in 6’3″ freshman Reilly Hovis. He will take the mound after getting knocked around a bit by the La Crosse Loggers over the weekend. He took the loss after allowing seven runs (three earned) on 11 hits over 4.1 innings last Friday in an 11-9 Loggers win. He received a win in each of his three starts prior to that and now sits at 3-2 with a 3.68 ERA so far this season.
Sheldon Lee (San Francisco) will be on the hill tonight for the Stingers and will make his second-consecutive start against the Mallards. He made a relief appearance on August 3rd against the Waterloo Bucks but made his last appearance in the first game of the two-game series against the Mallards last week. He was hurt by a poor defense and allowed six run (none earned) on six hits over three innings. So far this season, the 6’1″ junior is 3-2 with a 4.09 ERA.
Weeks tied the Mallards single-season RBI record Tuesday night with an RBI double and took over Jeff Zimmerman’s one-year-old record on another RBI double last night in Willmar. He now has 58 on the year and is three behind Willmar’s Marc Flores (Hawaii) for the league lead. In the last five games, Weeks is hitting .348 (8-for-23) with one home run and seven RBIs.
The Terrifying Trio
The Stingers bats have been hot as of late and have hit .315 as a team over the last five games. But much of this success has been limited to three batters in the lineup: Nick Halamandaris (California), Michael Suchy (Florida Gulf Coast) and Flores. The three have combined for 31 hits with two home runs and 17 RBIs over the last five games while the only other Stinger to hit over .300 over that span is Jake Gronsky (4-for-11).
The Mallards return home on Saturday, August 10th against the Lakeshore Chinooks for a 6:05 pm game after playing two 7:05 pm games in Mankato on Thursday and Friday. There will be a Mallards Trading Card Giveaway presented by Charter Communications on Saturday 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.