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Mallards Bested by Kingfish in Division Championship Pitcher’s Duel

sharpMadison, Wis. (August 11) – Despite a masterful performance on the mound from starting pitcher Sterling Sharp (Drury University) and multi-hit efforts from Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s College) and Jean Ramirez (Illinois State), field manager Donnie Scott and the Madison Mallards on Tuesday were dealt a season-ending 2-1 loss at the hands of the Kenosha Kingfish in the South Division’s championship matchup at Simmons Field. John Brodner delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to seal Kenosha’s comeback win over Madison. With the loss, the Mallards 2015 season came to a close.

Tuesday’s affair commenced on a positive note for the Mallards, who witnessed Sharp hold the Kingfish to but one hit and no runs over his first three innings of work. Madison threatened in the top of the second with J.J. Gould (Jacksonville) on third and Cameron Frost (Washington State) on second, but were unable to score after Bryce Carter (Stanford) struck out swinging and Chris Tschida (Western Illinois) struck out looking to end the frame. Madison quickly recovered to tally a run in the fourth, however, with Frost plating Jason Goldstein (Illinois) to claim a 1-0 advantage.

After retiring the side with two ground-outs and a whiff in the bottom of the fifth, Sharp finished his night after completing six innings in which he allowed no runs on three hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Justin Watts (Northern Kentucky) came on in relief of Sharp to begin the seventh inning at Simmons Field, and despite issuing two walks to a potent Kingfish lineup, managed to escape the frame unscathed by inducing an inning-ending groundout of T.J. Nitching to end any potential for a game-tying hit. Unable to muster a run, Madison entered the eighth with its lead intact.

Leading off the road half of the eighth with a double, Gonsolin put the Mallards in position to add an insurance run to begin the frame. Tony Butler (Madison College) flew out to right field, Ramirez grounded out and Gould grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice, however, bringing the game to the bottom of the eighth. Then, Kingfish leadoff hitter Alex Borglin, who reached base via a fielder’s choice, proceeded to tie the game courtesy of Jeremy Vasquez’s RBI single against Watts. Brandon White (South Suburban CC) recorded the inning’s last out. After eight, the score stood tied, 1-1.

Unable to muster a baserunner in the top of the ninth, the Mallards sent White out to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Pat McInerney led off the inning by reaching base via a fielding error by Madison third baseman Jake Roberts (Yakima Valley CC), after which Parker Sniatynski pinch-ran for him at first base. A sacrifice bunt put Sniatynski at second base, and a wild pitch from White put him at third after an intentional walk to attempt to induce a double-play. Brodner then stepped to the plate and served up a game-winning single against White, clinching the 2-1 comeback effort.

The Mallards would collectively like to thank each and every person who supported the team during the 2015 season and playoffs, including all of the 216,159 fans who made it out to the Duck Pond during regular-season play to make this summer the best the Mallards have ever seen. We look forward to seeing you at Warner Park next season.

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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.