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Verbeke Hopes to Give Mallards Shot at NWL Collegiate World Series

By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations

Mequon, WI — August 14, 2013. Thanks to Kyle Ruchim’s (Northwestern) heroic performance last night at the ‘Duck Pond’ in Game No. 2 of the Northwoods League South Division Championship, the Mallards will head back to Lakeshore for Game No. 3. First pitch is at 6:35 pm.

With the Mallards down 7-6 with two on and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Ruchim blasted a 2-0 offering from Chinooks reliever Mitchell Sewald (LSU) into the left field suites for a three-run home run. After the Mallards had already put up three more insurance runs just one inning later, the 5’10,” 185-pound sophomore hit a two-run shot to almost the exact same spot to give the Mallards an insurmountable 14-8 lead that would end up being the final score.

Danny Sullivan (Davenport) picked up the save by recording the last out of the eighth and struck out the side in the ninth to cap off a wild game that was back-and-forth in the early innings. 

The Mallards raced out to a 4-1 lead after just one inning on the night, but the Chinooks roared back and scored one in the third and five more in the fourth. The Mallards pulled back within one in the bottom of the fourth on RBIs from Drew Weeks (North Florida) and Mike Fitzgerald (Indiana State).

There would be all zeros on the scoreboard from the fourth on until Ruchim’s blast that sent the 2,441 fans at the “Duck Pond” into a frenzy in the seventh.

Hoping to send the Mallards into the Northwoods League Summer Collegiate World Series against the Duluth Huskies will be Cam Verbeke (Illinois State). The 6’1″ junior went 5-4 in the regular season and had an ERA of 3.47 while striking out 57 batters in 57 innings of work. He has gone at least five innings and allowed two earned runs or less in each of his past two starts but is 0-1 over the span. The righty made two appearances (one start) against the Chinooks this season and went 1-0. He started and went five innings while allowing just two earned runs on four hits on July 14th at the “Duck Pond” and pitched two innings of relief on June 10th and didn’t allow any hits in a 5-4 Mallards win.

6’7,” 240-pound Donnie Hissa (Notre Dame) will be on the mound for the Chinooks tonight and will make his fourth appearance against the Mallards this summer. He has an ERA of 9.00 through nine innings of work and has allowed 15 hits against the Mallards on the season. His most recent appearance against the Mallards came in the second game of a doubleheader on July 12th in Mequon, when he allowed six runs (all earned) on eight hits in just four innings of work and the Mallards went on to win 7-1. 

Dealing vs the Chinooks

Verbeke has been on his A-game against the Chinooks in his two appearances agianst them earlier in the season. He has an ERA of 2.57 against the Chinooks this season and has seven strikeouts in just seven innings while holding the opposition to just a .182 batting average.
Up Next:

If the Mallards win Game No. 3 tonight, they will play Game No. 1 of the Northwoods League Summer Collegiate World Series against the Duluth Huskies at the “Duck Pond” Thursday at 7:05 pm. Game No. 2 and 3 (if necessary) will be in Duluth, Minnesota. The Huskies swept the Waterloo Bucks by coming out on top by a score of 2-1 Tuesday night in Waterloo. They won Game No. 1 of that series by a score of 5-2.

The Madison Mallards are your Northwoods League South Division First Half Champions! Playoff tickets are on-sale now!

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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.