Upstart Mallards Travel to Green Bay for Series Opener
Madison, Wis. (July 30) – The Madison Mallards (15-10, 35-25) on Thursday will embark upon their most important series to date when they travel to Joannes Stadium for the opener of a two-game tilt with the Green Bay Bullfrogs (14-13, 36-26) at 7:05 p.m. Tonight’s contest will be the fifth consecutive road matchup for the Mallards, who after putting the finishing touches on a sweep of the Kalamazoo Growlers on Tuesday find themselves in second place in the South Division’s second-half standings. Coverage of Thursday’s game will be provided by 100.5 FM ESPN Madison beginning at 6:45 p.m.
After benefitting from Spencer Goebel’s (Spring Arbor Univ.) stellar pitching performance in Tuesday’s finale at Homer Stryker Field – 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K – field manager Donnie Scott will turn to Dalton D’Spain (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) to start tonight’s opener in Green Bay. D’Spain, a 6-foot-0 right-hander, enters tonight’s contest on the heels of tabbing a no decision after ceding two runs in three innings July 23 against La Crosse, a game the Mallards eventually won by a 5-4 mark. Overall, D’Spain boasts a 5-2 record, 4.15 ERA and 42 strikeouts across nine starts (43.1 IP) in 2015.
To counter, Bullfrogs field manager Skip Handelsman will assign 6-foot-0 right-handed pitcher Alex Martinez (De Anza College) with his seventh starting appearance of the summer. A native of Union City, Calif., Martinez has been dealt losing decisions in his two most recent outings, a span of time in which he has surrendered a combined seven earned runs across 8.1 frames (against Kenosha and La Crosse, respectively). Overall, Martinez has mustered a 2-3 record, 3.61 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 22:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio during his eight games pitched (32.1 IP) throughout the 2015 season.
- Matchup History, Playoff Positioning – Tonight will mark the seventh of eight meetings between the Mallards and Bullfrogs this summer, with Green Bay winning four of the previous six matchups. Madison is 11-13 (.458) in head-to-head, regular-season contests with the Bullfrogs during Scott’s tenure as field manager (since 2013) and 4-6 (.400) within the confines of Joannes Stadium in that span. The Mallards currently maintain sole possession of second place in the overall division standings with a .583 win percentage to Green Bay’s .581.
- Thursday’s Roster Moves – The Mallards have waived right-handed pitcher Nate Hoffmann (Middle Tennessee State), who was 4-3 with an ERA of 4.38 across 39 innings, from the active roster. Subsequent to his release, the Mallards have announced their signing of right-handed pitchers Sterling Sharp (Eastern Michigan) and Jake Johnson (Univ. of Mary). Sharpe, a 6-foot-4 right-hander, joins the Mallards following his freshman collegiate campaign. Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound righty, also contributes to Madison’s staff after his freshman season.
The Mallards will return to the Duck Pond next Saturday, August 1 against the Wisconsin Woodchucks (10-15, 22-38). Next Saturday will feature The Diamond Center Diamond Dig post-game, ice-cream scoop giveaway as well as a free Kids Clinic from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. presented by Zimbrick-Honda. For game tickets or inquiries regarding Saturday’s Kids 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.