By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations
Mequon, WI — August 12, 2013. The Madison Mallards will play in their first playoff game since 2008 tonight against the Lakeshore Chinooks in Game No. 1 of the Northwoods Leauge Divisional Round of the playoffs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm at Kapco Park.
The Mallards beat the Wisconsin Woodchucks in two games back in 2008 but lost to the Thunder Bay Border Cats in a thrilling three-game Northwoods League Championship Series. But the Mallards are back in the postseason after winning the First-Half Championship by a half-game over the Chinooks with a record of 21-12. The Mallards endured a six-game losing streak in the second-half but still finished 20-17 to give them an overall record of 41-29 overall, which is tied for the third-most regular season wins in franchise history.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are in the postseason in just their second season of existence. They finished 35-35 last season but rounded out the regular season this year with a record of 44-26. Their second-half record of 23-13 was just 0.5 games better than the La Crosse Loggers 22-13 record. The Chinooks entered yesterday in need of a win or a La Crosse loss but took care of business themselves and beat the Mallards in blowout fashion by a score of 17-3.
The Mallards will send Luke Staub (George Washington) to the mound tonight and he will look for his first win in three tries against the Chinooks this season. He went 4-4 with an ERA of 1.80 in the regular season but two of those losses came against the Chinooks. He took the loss by allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits over six innings on June 11th at Kapco Park and allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits over six innings at Lakeshore on July 13th. He is coming off of an impressive start against Wisconsin Rapids on August 5th, when he went seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits.
The reliable Joe Greenfield (Eastern Illinois) will make the start on the mound for the Chinooks. The 6’4,” 225-pound junior from Orland Park, Illinois went at least six innings in eight of his 11 starts and squared off against the Mallards once on July 12th at the “Duck Pond.” He didn’t receive a decision but allowed only two hits over six innings of work while walking one and striking out two.
Watch Out For Weeks and LaPrise
Greenfield better take note of the deadly combination of John LaPrise and Drew Weeks (North Florida) at the top of the Mallards batting order. Weeks did the most damage against the Chinooks this season by hitting .341 with three home runs, 11 RBIs and 27 total bases, while LaPrise is right behind him with a .351 batting average, three RBIs and seven runs scored. They are the only two Mallards who have registered more than 10 hits against the Chinooks this season.
Splitting the Season Series
The Mallards and Chinooks squared off against each other a total of 10 times during the regular season and each squad came away with five wins. Nine innings has often not been enough, as three of the ten games have gone into extras, including a 21-inning marathon—which is the longest in league history—that was split between June 22nd and July 12th. The Mallards were 2-1 in those three games.
Game No. 2 of the Northwoods League Divisional Round of the playoffs will be at the “Duck Pond” Tuesday night and is set to start at 7:05 pm. Game No. 3 (if necessary) will be back at Kapco Park on Wednesday night at 6:35 pm.
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.