Gonsolin, Beckwith Hoist Mallards to South Division Championship Game
Madison, Wis. (August 10) – In a month that has witnessed the Madison Mallards batter opponents to the tune +33 run differential, field manager Donnie Scott and company on Monday rewrote the narrative in their first-round playoff matchup with the Green Bay Bullfrogs, mustering a trio of runs on 10 his en route to a 3-2 victory over their divisional counterpart at the Duck Pond. The Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison ‘Big Win’ of the Night lifted the Mallards to the championship game of the South Division bracket, which will be held at Simmons Field against the Kenosha Kingfish on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.
Mallards starting pitcher Andrew Beckwith (Coastal Carolina) provided a performance to remember against the Bullfrogs, logging 6.1 innings in which he allowed but one unearned run on eight hits, no walks and a pair of strikeouts on his way to a winning decision. Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s College) clubbed a home run in the Mallards first at-bat of the game, while Cameron Frost (Washington State) went 2-for-4 with a double at the dish. A.J. Bogucki (North Carolina) pitched 2.2 innings with five strikeouts and a save to relieve Beckwith and seal Madison’s playoff victory.
“Beckwith was outstanding,” Scott said after the game. “He filled up the zone and did a great job. We had some great defensive plays out there, and what Bogucki did out there was pretty incredible. Offensively, we had some big hits and timely hitting at the right moments and that’s what it takes to win baseball games. I do want to say that (Jason) Goldstein was outstanding behind the plate. He guided them right along and he made a great throw earlier in the game, so he really slowed them down. That throw (that led to a caught stealing) you only see at the Major League Level.”
Monday’s postseason opener commenced on a fast note for the Mallards, who witnessed Beckwith induce two ground ball outs with one strikeout in the top of the first. Gonsolin then led off the home half of the first with a solo home run – his thirteenth of the season, including postseason play – after which Beckwith proceeded to blank Green Bay in the second and third innings. The Bullfrogs broke through with their first run in the top of the fourth, however, courtesy of Danny Rosenbaum’s run-producing single to bring home Brian Celsi. The run was unearned to Beckwith.
The Mallards wasted little time responding to Green Bay’s upstart offense. The bottom of the fourth began with a double from Frost, who advanced home on two consecutive wild pitches from the Bullfrogs staff. Jonathan Quintana (Barry University), who reached base via a walk in the frame, also touched home on a wild pitch to give the Mallards their largest lead of the ballgame, 3-1, heading into the fifth. Beckwith and Bogucki teamed up to blank the Bullfrogs in the fifth, sixth and seventh, holding their lead with just six outs remaining for Madison to clinch its victory.
Green Bay’s bats wouldn’t go down before making things interesting, however. Logan Taylor led off the top of the eighth with a single and would later come around to score on Rosenbaum’s second RBI single of the contest. The clutch hit with two outs would be the only allowed by Bogucki before retiring the side in the eighth to preserve Madison’s lead. The 6-foot-3, second-year Mallards pitcher took to the ninth inning with the slim 3-2 advantage behind him and proceeded to strike out the side with an emphatic called strike three on a back-door curveball against Ryan Donovan to clinch the win.
“Bogucki’s been great for us starting all year and I think the coaches had a lot of confidence in him,” Beckwith said. “Now we have (Justin) Watts and Sterling (Sharp) fresh for tomorrow. The umpire had a great zone tonight and Bogucki and I controlled our fastballs in and out, up and down and working off our off-speed. Goldstein called a great game for me and I’m sure Bogucki would say the same thing. He and I were on the same page tonight and defense really picked us up.”
The Mallards will offer transportation to Simmons Field for Tuesday’s South Division championship game for $40, which will include a ticket and round-trip travel to and from the stadium via coach bus. Call the Mallards Ticket Office at 608-246-4277 or email Rick at email@example.com to reserve your ticket for Tuesday’s game.
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.