Mallards Comeback Falls Short vs. Stingers
Spicer, MN- August 13, 2016. Entering the final series of the 2016 Northwoods League regular season, The Madison Mallards (20-15, 43-28) dropped the series opener 11-8 on Saturday night to the Willmar Stingers (22-13, 40-31).
After being shutout on Friday night in St. Cloud, the Mallards wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard early. Nico Hoerner (Stanford) led the game off with a five-pitch walk as the Mallards put their lead off man aboard. After a wild pitch put Hoerner in scoring position, Matt McCann (Fairleigh Dickinson) punched a grounder to the right side to advance Hoerner to third. Nelson Maldonado (Florida) would tally the first RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to right field, as the ball was deep enough to allow Hoerner to tag from third.
Westin Wuethrich (Washington) would make the start on the mound for the Mallards, coming off his best two starts of the summer for Madison. Wuethrich got off to a hot start, as he retired the side in order in both the bottom of the first and third innings.
The Stingers would break the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning, as they put together a 2-out rally to grab a lead they would never relinquish. With runners on the corners, the Stingers received a timely 2-out double from the bottom of their order to open up a 3-1 lead. The very next batter would launch a two run homerun over the right field fence, as the Stingers scored four runs with two outs in the fourth inning.
Madison answered the four run fourth with a rally of their own in the top of the fifth. Cameron Frost (Washington St.) led the inning off by lacing a 3-1 fastball into right center field. With the hit, Frost sits tied for the team lead with 14 doubles on the 2016 season. After a Mallard strikeout, Josh Stowers would deliver at the plate for Madison. Stowers chopped a fastball up the middle to score Frost from second, as the Mallards scored their second run of the game.
Hoerner would come to the plate a few batters later, with the bases loaded and just one out. Hoerner hit into a fielder’s choice to score Stowers from third, as Hoerner hustled to beat the back end of a double play opportunity to first.
Trailing 11-3 heading into the eighth inning, the Mallards put together a late rally as they desperately fought to climb back into the game. Jarrett would tally an RBI on fielder’s choice, as he grounded a ball to short with runners on the corners and beat the relay throw to first. Cameron Frost continued his hot night at the plate by smashing a home run into left center field, as the Mallards cut the lead to 11-6. Frost would finish the night 4-5 from the plate, as he bumped his batting average up to .291 on the season with the four hit performance.
Facing a five run deficit heading into the final inning, the Mallards offense continued to hit the baseball. Jordan Joseph (St. Cloud St.) would hit his first home run as a member of the Mallards, as he crushed a fastball off the scoreboard in left field to trim the Stingers lead to just three. The Mallards would get the tying run to the on-deck circle but ultimately the rally fell short, as they couldn’t extend the game.
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 Mallards will wrap up the 2016 Northwoods League regular season on Sunday evening as they take on the Willmar Stingers at 6:05 PM. You can listen to Mallards games all season long online at www.madcitysportszone.com
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.