St. Cloud, MN- August 12, 2016. With the start of the game being delayed to inclement weather, the Madison Mallards (20-14, 43-27) dropped game two of the series to the St. Cloud Rox (23-11, 47-22) by a final score of 8-0 on Friday night.
St. Cloud again jumped out to an early lead, as they scored a run in the first inning for the second straight contest. Things could have been worse, however, as Frank German (North Florida) did a good job of escaping trouble in the first inning. He was aided by his defense, as the Mallards caught a runner trying to steal to end the bottom of the first inning.
Pitching proved to be the storyline throughout the contest, as the score remained 1-0 St. Cloud all the way into the fifth inning. The Rox would score two more runs in the bottom half of the fifth, and then added two more in the sixth to open up a 5-0 lead.
After allowing two runs in the bottom of the sixth, Alex Hintze (Uconn) settled down in the seventh inning. Hintze set the middle of the lineup down in order in the seventh, as he induced two groundouts with his breaking ball to quiet the Rox batters.
The Mallards would get their best opportunity to score in the top of the eighth inning. After Nelson Maldonado (Florida) and Zach Jarrett (UNC-Charlotte) both walked with two outs in the inning, Cameron Frost (Washington St.) struck out to end the Mallards scoring threat. The Mallards would strike out a season high fifteen times, as they were completely baffled by the Rox pitching staff.
With the Mallards trailing by five heading into the eighth inning, Tyrus Hartman (Cornell) came into the game as he made his first appearance as a member of the Mallards. Hartman would record two strikeouts in his one inning of work, as he worked through a potent Rox lineup.
Even with the loss, the Madison Mallards have officially clinched a Northwoods League home playoff game on Monday, August 15th. The Mallards will welcome the Battle Creek Bombers to the Duck Pond on Monday night. First pitch of the playoff game is scheduled for 7:05 PM. The Mallards finished the regular season 5-3 against the Bombers, including a 3-1 record at home.
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, 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 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 portal. For more information, visit www.mallardsbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Mallards as your favorite team.