Madison, Wis. (August 8) – An upstart Madison Mallards (22-13, 42-28) lineup that mustered double-digit run totals in three consecutive days ran into a brick wall of quality pitching Saturday afternoon in La Crosse, grinding out just one run on 12 hits between two seven-inning contests that eventually favored the Loggers (21-15, 40-30) by scores of 6-1 and 2-0, respectively. Despite both losses, the Mallards still lay claim to a one-game lead over the Green Bay Bullfrogs for the South Division’s second-best overall record heading into Sunday’s 2015 season finale at Copeland Park.
Game one of Saturday’s twin-bill began on a strong note for the Mallards, who saw starting pitcher Josh Pierce (Central Michigan) tab three scoreless innings with as many strikeouts en route to leading 1-0 after three frames. Mason McCoy (Central Illinois College), Jordan Zimmerman (Mesa CC) and Ryan Kirby (San Diego) broke La Crosse’s scoreless effort with home runs between the fourth and fifth innings, however, which eventually set up Loggers closer Liam Carter (Missouri) with an opportunity to close the door with two shutout frames in the sixth and seventh.
The nightcap of the double-header became an extension of the first for the Mallards, who were unable to plate a runner in the affair despite tallying seven hits alongside a double from second-baseman Matt McCann (Fairleigh Dickson). Luis Trevino propelled La Crosse to a lead it wouldn’t relinquish with an RBI single to plate Michael Echavia in the bottom of the second, while Trevino later drove in another with a single to centerfield to score Chris Baker. Troy Kenkel (UW-La Crosse) took the loss for Madison, allowing both runs across 5.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts.
With both losses behind them, field manager Donnie Scott and the Mallards will look to regroup in preparation for Sunday’s series and season finale against the Loggers at 5:05 p.m. Madison’s ‘magic number’ now stands at one, which means with either a victory or Green Bay loss on Sunday, the Mallards will host a first-round playoff game on Monday, August 10 at 7:05 p.m. Follow the Mallards on Twitter at @MadisonMallards for in-game updates or tune in to 100.5 FM ESPN Madison’s comprehensive play-by-play coverage beginning at 4:45 p.m. CT on Sunday.
Tickets for potential Mallards playoff home games next week are on sale now by calling the Mallards Ticket Office at 608-246-4277, or visiting www.MallardsBaseball.com for more information. Game times for first-round South Division playoff matchups will be determined after all games on Sunday, August 9 have been completed.
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.