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Mallards Clinch Home Playoff Game with Victory Over Loggers

playoff_locationfinalMadison, Wis. (August 9) – Field manager Donnie Scott and the Madison Mallards (23-13, 43-28) clinched a home playoff game with a 10-7 victory over the La Crosse Loggers (21-16, 40-31) to wrap their regular-season schedule Sunday night at Copeland Park. Scott’s lineup ignited for 15 hits – four for extra-bases – in their 2015 finale over the Loggers, benefitting from two scoreless frames from Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s College) between the eighth and ninth innings en route to tabbing his second save of the season. At the plate, Gonsolin also went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs batted in.

Tickets for Monday’s 7:05 p.m. playoff game at Warner Park with the Green Bay Bullfrogs are on sale now by calling the Mallards Ticket Office at 608-246-4277. Ticket price information for Monday’s game can be accessed online by clicking here.

Sunday’s season finale commenced on a fast note for the Mallards, who tabbed two runs in the top of the second courtesy of a two-run single from Gonsolin. J.J. Gould (Jacksonville) then plated Jason Goldstein (Illinois) on a two-out single to left field to bring the Mallards advantage up to 3-0 heading to the bottom of the third. The Loggers responded promptly in the home half of the fourth on a double from Brock Lundquist to plate Jordan Zimmerman, however, after which Will Savage touched home thanks to an RBI groundout from Chris Baker. After four, Madison led 3-2.

After manufacturing another run in the top of the fifth by way of Gould’s double to deep left field, the Loggers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame. La Crosse shortstop Mason McCoy drove home Michael Echavia on a sacrifice fly to centerfielder Cameron Frost (Washington State), a run-producing swing that was followed by a Zimmerman single to score Ben Morgan. But just when it appeared Madison’s momentum had waned, Gould’s 2 RBI double to score Jean Ramirez (Illinois State) and Goldstein ignited what would become a four-run top of the seventh.

Despite then owning their biggest lead of the contest heading into home half of the eighth, the Mallards witnessed a valiant late-inning effort from La Crosse’s lineup. McCoy led off the bottom of the eighth with a double to right, followed up by a Zimmerman single to bring him home. Will Savage then drove home Zimmerman with an RBI single to centerfield. Defensive switches ensued for the Mallards, who brought on Gonsolin in relief with no outs and a man at first. Savage touched home on a defensive error, but Gonsolin and the Mallards escaped the eighth with an 8-7 lead.

Recovering from La Crosse’s effort in the eighth, Gonsolin then muscled a single to left field to but a man on base in the top of the ninth. Two batters later, Ramirez proceed to deposit a ball over the Copeland Park fence for his eighth home run of the season, bringing home Gonsolin and himself to extend Madison’s advantage to 10-7. After the side had been retired, Gonsolin came on to work a scoreless bottom of the ninth with three ground-ball outs to seal Madison’s crucial victory. With the win, the Mallards finished the season with a 3-5 record against McCoy and the Loggers.

The Mallards will enter the postseason as the second seed in the South Division bracket. The Bullfrogs will be the third-seeded club. The winner of Monday’s game at Warner Park will play the either the top-seeded Kenosha Kingfish or fourth-seeded La Crosse Loggers, who will square off at Simmons Field at 7:05 p.m. on Monday. The second round of postseason play will be held on Tuesday, August 11. The team who owns the better remaining record from Monday’s games will host the South Division championship. Stay tuned for more details regarding playoff matchups.

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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.