Comeback Effort Pushes Mallards Past Bullfrogs
Madison, Wis. – In the opener of a two-game home series at Warner Park, the Madison Mallards (8-6) defeated the Green Bay Bullfrogs (6-7) by a final score of 5-3 Tuesday night (June 9).
The victory not only closed the books on Madison’s five-game losing streak entering their divisional series, but also propelled the Mallards into a tie for second place in the Northwoods League’s South Division.
The night began on an uneven note for Mallards starting pitcher Nate Hoffmann (Middle Tennessee State), allowing the first two batters he faced – one walk and one hit by pitch – to reach base before ceding a three-run home run to Bullfrogs designated hitter Ryan Donovan. With one half-inning behind them, the Mallards faced an early 3-0 deficit.
But Hoffmann recovered soon after. The right-hander held Green Bay scoreless across the next three frames, finishing his night having tossed four innings in which he whiffed five batters. Justin Hill (Southeastern CC) fed off of Hoffmann’s recovery, pitching three shutout innings of one-hit ball and preserving the 3-0 deficit into the eighth inning.
“I just think he (Hoffmann) was a little bit strong to start,” said Mallards field manager Donnie Scott. “And that’s typical of anybody who goes past five or six days of rest and some soreness. After the home run he settled in, got the breaking ball over and started throwing strikes. The key with all these guys is to throw strikes – they all have great stuff.”
The bottom half of the eighth proved most crucial to Madison’s winning effort. After watching Green Bay intentionally walk the bases loaded, Scott Tyler (Ball State) stepped to the plate and laced a two-run-scoring double down the right field line, giving the Mallards their first lead of the evening. As a bit of insurance, J.J. Gould (Jacksonville) plated Logan Regnier (Central Michigan) on a ground-out to second base. Heading to the ninth, the Mallards lead stood at 5-3.
Any chance of a potential comeback from the Bullfrogs was thwarted when Vince Arobio (Pacific) stepped onto the mound in the ninth. The power-armed 5-foot-11 righty allowed neither a hit nor run in the game’s final half inning, fanning two batters en route to this second save of the 2015 season. Arobio has struck out 13 in 7.1 frames this season.
With their comeback victory behind them, the Mallards will press onward to the finale of their two-game home-stand against Green Bay. First pitch for game two of the series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from the Duck Pond. Tomorrow night will feature FLOW Parkour at the stadium, presented by The Payroll Company. As part of Wisconsin Bike Fed Bike Week, fans who bike to Wednesday night’s game will receive a free hat.
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