Madison, Wis. (July 15) – Field manager Donnie Scott and the Madison Mallards (8-6, 28-22) will look to rebound from Tuesday’s 8-5 loss with a victory in Wednesday’s finale with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (7-5, 22-22) at Witter Field. Tonight’s 7:05 p.m. contest will mark the final meeting in 2015 between Rapids and Madison, who entering today find themselves slotted in third and fourth place, respectively, in the Northwoods League’s second-half South Division standings.
Last night’s opener saw the Mallards string together 11 hits against Rafters pitching – Madison’s fourth consecutive game with double-digit base hits – though the effort would eventually fall shy of a victory. Shortstop Tony Butler (Madison College) contributed with a 2-for-4 line and two runs batted in, while Ro Coleman (Vanderbilt) tabbed his fourth straight multi-hit game. Dalton D’Spain (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) received the losing decision in his seventh start of the summer, surrendering five runs across four innings in which he allowed nine hits and struck out four.
Seeking a solid performance from its starting rotation to round out the key series, Madison will turn to A.J. Bogucki (North Carolina) to tab his seventh start of the season on Wednesday. The 6-foot-3 right-hander has pitched admirably to begin his second-half campaign, allowing just one earned run with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8:2 across his first two starts (12 IP). That span of time has witnessed opponents go 7-for-44 (.159) at the plate against Bogucki, who overall this summer has limited hitters to a .237 batting average and .261 slugging percentage over 31 innings of work.
After watching starting pitcher Jay Peters (UW-Milwaukee) tab a quality start and winning decision against the Mallards on Tuesday – 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, BB, 6 K – the Rafters will call upon Brian Russell (College of Staten Island) to pitch tonight’s finale at Witter Field. Russell, a 6-foot-3 right-hander, enters tonight’s contest on the heels of perhaps his best outing of the summer on July 8, whiffing eight hitters across eight innings of one-run ball en route to a victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks. On June 23, Russell held the Mallards to one run in seven frames to set up a 3-1 win at Warner Park.
The Mallards will return to the Duck Pond tomorrow (Thursday, July 16) at 7:05 p.m. against the Lakeshore Chinooks. Thursday will be Waterpark Night with a Kalahari Resort Indoor Theme Park Pass Giveaway to the first 500 fans through the gates. There will also be a UW-Health Sports Medicine Developing Healthy Off-Speed Pitching Mechanics Clinic from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for children 12-16 years old for $40. For tickets to Thursday’s game or questions about the clinic, call the Mallards ticket office at 608-246-4277 or visit www.MallardsBaseball.com for more information.
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.