Mequon, WI – June 8, 2016. Having to respond on the heels of their first losing streak of the season, the Mallards used a stellar pitching performance to win a defensive battle over the Lakeshore Chinooks by a final score of 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Mike Reitcheck (Penn) was brilliant in his second start on the mound for the Mallards. The left-hander had his full arsenal of pitches working, and allowed just four hits over seven innings of shutout baseball.
“I just felt confident heading into this game just from warming up in the bullpen,” said Reitcheck. “I trusted in my defense behind me to make plays when they put balls in play and they did a great job tonight. I knew it wouldn’t be long until our bats got going, so I just wanted to keep us in the game until they did.”
The Mallards offense struggled to find a rhythm early, except for Joe Stefanki (San Jose State), who singled in his first two trips to the plate.
It remained scoreless into the 6th inning, when Lucas Halstead (Pacific) ripped a two-out double into the left-center field gap to put himself in scoring position.
Mallards third basemen Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) followed Halstead’s double with an RBI single into right field to give Madison the lead in the 6th. After Reitcheck worked a 1-2-3 6th inning on the mound for the Mallards, the offense again came alive in the 7th inning.
Nico Hoerner (Stanford) made his debut for the Mallards at shortstop, and batted in the 8th spot in the lineup. Hoerner recorded his first hit of the season in the 7th inning, when he led off the inning with single into right field. After Stefanki grounded out to second, Cameron Frost (Washington State) laced a double into left center field to extend the lead to 2-0.
The defense was brilliant when it had to be, including in the 7th and final inning of Reitcheck’s night. After the Chinooks had the tying run on first with only one out, Reitcheck induced an inning ending 1-6-3 double play to escape the jam and left the game with the Mallards leading 2-0.
After an 8th inning run for the Chinooks cut the Mallards lead to just one, Alex Smith (North Florida) was brought in from the bullpen to go for his second save of the season. The Chinooks again put the tying run on base, before Alex Smith retired the next three batters he faced in order to preserve the win. With the win, the Mallards moved to 7-2 on the season, including a perfect 6-0 record on the road.
The Mallards will return to the Duck Pond on Thursday, June 9th to take on the Lakeshore Chinooks. The game will feature Juggling Josh Horton. Tickets are available for purchase by visiting MallardsBaseball.com, calling the Mallards ticket office at 608-246-4277, or stopping in the ticket office at 2920 N Sherman Ave.
The Madison Mallards are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2016, 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, 150 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 (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. For more information, visit www.MallardsBaseball.com