By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations
Mequon, WI — August 14, 2013. Just one night after hitting two late home runs to come back from a 7-4 deficit in Game No. 2 against the Lakeshore Chinooks, the Mallards hit another late home run, this time in the ninth, to advance to the Northwoods League Summer Collegiate World Series for the first time since 2008 with a thrilling 5-3 victory.
After a Jason Goldstein (Illinois) walk and a Geonte Jackson (San Jacinto) pinch-hit single in the ninth with one out, Alex Bacon (North Florida) came to the plate with Mitchell Sewald (LSU) on the mound. Bacon, who entered in the fifth after center fielder Tony Cheky (Michigan State) hurt his shoulder diving for a line drive, took an 0-2 offering and put it just over the left field fence over a leaping Chinooks left fielder Mike Papi (Virginia).
Mallards reliever Danny Sullivan (Davenport) allowed an infield base hit off the bat of Sawyer Polen (Kent State) but got a 6-4-3 double play in the next at-bat in the bottom of the ninth. Sullivan then got Cody Bobbit (Wichita State) to strike out swinging to keep the Mallards season alive. Game No. 1 of the Summer Collegiate World Series will take place at the “Duck Pond” tomorrow at 7:05 pm against the Duluth Huskies.
Mallards outfielder Joe McCarthy (Virginia) finally put the Mallards on the scoreboard just one inning prior to Bacon’s heroics while down 2-0 by hitting a two-run single down the right field line that scored Bacon and John LaPrise (Virginia).
Chinooks leadoff hitter Andrew Stevenson (Kent State) led off the bottom of the eighth with a single off of Mallards reliever Ben Neumann (Northern Illinois) but Jared Fon (UW-Whitewater) failed to get a bunt down three-consecutive times and pushed his third attempt foul down the right field line. Mike Papi (Virginia) then singled for the Chinooks to bring in Sullivan with one out in the inning. Sullivan left up a breaking ball and it hit Chinooks cleanup hitter Aaron Machbitz (South Dakota St.) to load the bases to bring Chris Manning (Valparaiso) to the plate.
Manning took an 0-2 pitch to deep center field for a sac fly that scored Stevenson to give the Chinooks a 3-2 lead. Sullivan then struck out Ryan Krill (Michigan State) to send it to the ninth.
Mallards starter Cam Verbeke (Illinois State) pitched a solid 5.2 innings and allowed just two runs (both earned) on just four hits.
After a hit-by-pitch and a walk in the third, Andrew Stevenson (LSU) blooped one over Brock Stewart’s (Illinois State) head to give the Chinooks their first run of the game. Verbeke then got Jared Fon (UW-Whitewater) to ground into a 3-6-3 double play to end the threat.
Saywer Polen (Kent State) hit a sinking liner to center to lead off the bottom of the fifth, but Cheky dove and had the ball scoot under his glove and into center field, allowing Polen to reach third for a standup triple. Cheky injured his wrist on the play and exited and was replaced by Bacon. With the infield pulled in, Verbeke then induced a 6-3 putout off the bat of catcher Travis Enger (St. Cloud State) for the first out of the inning. Chinooks second baseman Cody Bobbit (Wichita State) hit a sac fly to left to pull the Chinooks ahead 2-0.
Chinooks starter Donnie Hissa (Notre Dame) lasted six innings and allowed only five hits on no walks in his six innings of work.
Bacon ended up going 1-for-1 with two runs scored and three RBIs to lead the Mallards while McCarthy wound up going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Stevenson led the Chinooks at the plate and went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI while Papi and Polen also had two hits on the night.
The Madison Mallards are your Northwoods League South Division Champions! The Mallards will host the Duluth Huskies Thursday at 7:05 pm for Game 1 of the NWL Summer Collegiate World Series. Tickets are available for Thursdays game by calling 608-246-4277 or stopping by the Mallards ticket office at 2920 N Sherman Ave. Madison, WI 53704.
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.