Mallards Grab Fourth Straight Win Behind Arobio, Ramirez
Madison, Wis. – Madison, Wis. – Fueled by timely hitting and more rock-solid work on the mound, Donnie Scott and the Madison Mallards pushed their unbeaten record to 4-0 Saturday night with a 3-2 victory over the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters at Warner Park.
With the Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison Big Win of the Night, the Mallards retained their foothold on the top spot in the South Division while keeping pace with Waterloo (4-0) for the Northwoods League's overall top record.
Nick Gruener (Harvard) received his first start of the season for Madison on Saturday, allowing two runs — none earned — on five hits, one walk and six strikeouts across five strong frames. Matt Bower (Washington State) and Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary's College) logged three combined innings of scoreless middle relief, eventually setting up Vince Arobio (Pacific) with an opportunity grab his first save. Arobio struck out two of the three hitters he faced in the ninth inning.
Though the Mallards managed just four hits against Rafters pitching, they were efficient with each. Jean Ramirez (Illinois State) plated his first run of the season with a double in the bottom of the third inning. Manny Ramirez Jr. (San Francisco) laced an RBI double to the right-center gap and tabbed his own run batted in, finishing with a 1-for-3 batting line and a run scored. Cameron Frost (Washington State) scored twice, including the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh.
"He was outstanding," Scott said of Gruener after the game. "He gave us five solid innings, and then Bower, Gonsolin and Arobio were electric. I was really happy with Bower — I hadn't seen him (before tonight), and the next two guys made it look pretty easy. What's really fun when you start winning like this is when everybody's contributing. You just get little things that happen and I'm happy as can be right now."
The Mallards will return to the Duck Pond on Wednesday, June 3 against the Green Bay Bullfrogs on Joey's Song Epilepsy Awareness Night. There will be a pre-game skydiving and tandem skydive giveaway presented by Great Lakes Skydiving, with Mallards players wearing purple jerseys to be auctioned off during the game.
The Madison Mallards are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. For more information, visit www.MallardsBaseball.com