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Mallards Respond with Game Two Win over Lakeshore

6-12 Post Second Game CroppedMadison, Wis. (June 12) – After dropping the first tilt of a doubleheader against the Lakeshore Chinooks (9-8) Friday night at Warner Park, the Madison Mallards (9-8) responded impressively in the nightcap, defeating their division foe by a score of 5-1 across seven innings in front of 6,341 fans at the Duck Pond. The Ho-Chunk Gaming Big Win of the Night helped Madison maintain pace with Lakeshore and La Crosse for third place in the Northwoods League’s South Division.

Dalton D’Spain (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) pitched admirably in his third start of the summer, allowing just one earned run over five full innings. The 6-foot-1 right-hander struck out five hitters, walked three and ceded just three base hits. Mike Kaelin (Buffalo) tallied two scoreless and hit-less innings of relief out of Madison’s bullpen in the six and seventh innings, punching out four and walked none. The performance lifted Kaelin’s season K/9 ratio to a sterling 18.5.

“D’Spain did an outstanding job,” said Mallards field manager Donnie Scott after the game. “He went out and threw strikes and was really crisp, which makes it tough to take him out of that ballgame. But we’ve got Kaelin sitting back there and he’s been fresh on three days or so of rest. We were sweating during the draft (about Kaelin) and hopefully we have him for the whole summer. This guy’s lights out. This guy is nails. He’s perfect.”

Madison’s offense provided the firepower necessary to complement its stellar work on the mound, going a combined 8-for-25 (.320) with two extra-base hits. Mikey Diekroeger (Stanford) contributed with a 2-for-3 batting line and run batted in, while Corbin Olmstead (North Florida) doubled and drove in a run as Madison’s designated hitter. Chris Tschida (Western Illinois) went 1-for-2 and plated a game-high two runs in his first game back from injury.

“It was nice to see us swing the bats a little bit,” Scott said. “Even the first game we swung it a little bit better; you know, guys coming up with big hits. I thought having Chris (Tschida) back in there was big, and having him get a big hit to give us a little breathing room. That was awesome….Mikey (Diekroeger) is a professional hitter,” Scott added, “and I was just as impressed with him at third base and the way he played over there. Hitting is contagious.”

Madison’s winning effort was a culmination of a balanced, consistent game-plan – on the mound and at the dish. D’Spain held Lakeshore fruitless across the first three innings, a span of time in which Madison plated two runs (one on Diekroeger’s RBI double in the bottom of the second, the other Anthony Gonsolin’s run scored on a passed ball in the third). The Chinooks responded with their lone run in the fourth, trimming the Mallards lead to 2-1 heading into the fifth.

But Scott’s offense persisted. With two outs and runners at second and third, Tschida came through with a hard-hit ground ball up the middle that eventually lead to two runs. Gonsolin then drove home Jonathan Quintana (Barry University) with a sacrifice fly to center field, resulting in Madison’s largest lead of the evening. Kaelin’s strong sixth and seventh innings put the nail in Lakeshore’s coffin, ensuring the 5-1 winning effort.

With their ninth victory of the summer behind them, the Mallards will turn their collective attention toward a six-game road-swing beginning Saturday in Green Bay against the Bullfrogs, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. The Mallards will return home on Friday, June 19 against the Kenosha Kingfish. Next Friday will be Valpak Great Outdoors Night at the Duck Pond, featuring an Outdoorsman Maynard Bobblehead Giveaway presented by WKOW TV. For tickets, call the Mallards ticket office at 608-246-4277 or visit MallardsBaseball.com.

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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