Rockford, Ill.- After losing yesterday in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Rockford Rivets, the Mallards bounced back and evened the series with Rockford by winning 11-3.
The Mallards bats were hot right from the start. Cole Daily (Notre Dame) singled to lead off the top of the first inning and Nick Schrader (Western Illinois) walked, which put two runners on. The next batter for the Mallards, Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. (California), then belted a homer to left field off of Rivets starter Jeffrey Barton to give the Mallards a 3-0 lead. Three batters later, Madison third baseman Thomas Smart (Oakton) drove a ball up the middle of the infield with two outs to bring home Kian O’Brien (Kent State). Next inning, Angel Camacho (Jacksonville) bounced a ball to shortstop that was mishandled, allowing Schrader to score from third.
Rockford would respond in the fourth inning with the bats of Zach Rheams and Neal Tyrell. A hard hit ball to shortstop got away from Daily to allow the first base runner of the inning for Rockford. After a single from Rivets designated hitter Rheams, Mallards starter Matt Horkey (UNC-Charlotte) faced runners on first and third with no outs. Horkey would go on to strike out the next Rivet, but then give up a one-run double to Rockford second basemen Tyrell. A batter later with runners on second and third, Jeremy Houston would ground out to shortstop to bring home another run for Rockford. The next batter, Nate Montgomery, knocked a slow roller to Mallards second basemen, Schrader who misplayed the slow roller and allowed another run to score.
The Mallards offense would awaken again in the sixth as Cade Bunnell (Madison College) knocked in Mitchell Jr. with a single to center. The next Mallard, O’Brien, ripped his second double of the night and brought home Bunnell. Freshman Jake Matheny (Indiana) poked a single to right field two batters later to score O’Brien and cap a three run sixth inning.
Not satisfied, the Mallards would post another three-spot in the top of the ninth. Bunnell drove in two runs with a single to left field before O’Brien hit his third double of the evening to bring in another run.
The Mallards had a strong start on the mound from lefty Matt Horkey. Horkey threw for five innings, and all three runs that he gave up were unearned. Mitch Vogrin (Illinois State), Rafi Vazquez (Coastal Carolina), and Tiegen Jones (Fresno State) held off the Rockford hitters as the bullpen allowed one hit through four innings.
Despite the three unearned runs, the defense for the Mallards was phenomenal. Shortstop Daily showcased several displays of range as well as a powerful arm from the left side of the infield. First basemen Angel Camacho added to the defensive highlight real for Madison by gloving a scorcher in between first and second.
The Mallards return to the Duck Pond, June 15th for Bacon Appreciation Night. Mallards will take on the Green Bay Bullfrogs at Warner Park with first pitch at 7:05 PM. Gates are scheduled to open at 5:30 PM .