On Friday night at Warner Park the Madison Mallards (17-14) fell in the series finale to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (24-7), 9-4. The Mallards scattered eight hits, but Rafters ace Jack Eagan kept the Mallards from doing much damage.
The beginning of the ballgame had the makings of a pitcher’s duel between Mallards starter Heath Renz (UW-Whitewater) and Eagan. Renz allowed just one hit, a solo shot, in the game’s first two innings. In comparison, Eagan held the Mallards hitless into the fifth inning, aside from a single by Cole Daily (Notre Dame) to lead-off the ballgame.
Overall, Renz would work five innings, allowing six hits and five runs. Rafters second baseman Christian Jones made a huge impact as he hit two deep home runs, one a three run shot, that led the Wisconsin Rapids offense. Through four and a half innings, the Rafters led 5-0.
The Madison offense was finally able to get to Eagan in the bottom of the fifth and sixth. Jeffery Mitchell Jr. (California) and Brock Weimer (SIUE) both knocked in runs and Doran Tuchin (Illinois) contributed a double. Although he found himself in a few high-leverage situations, Eagan was able to get out of both innings after giving up just the one run in each. After six innings, the Mallards trailed 5-2.
Madison didn’t give up hope as they continued to put pressure on Rafters pitchers. After the Rafters scored two in the top of the seventh, the Mallards responded with a run in the eighth when Jake Matheny (Indiana) grounded out to knock in Mitchell Jr. However, Madison’s offense could not salvage the key hits they needed to get back into the ball game and fell, 9-4.
Despite tonight’s loss, the Mallards won the series after sweeping the Rafters in last night’s doubleheader. Following the three game series, the Mallards are now seven games behind the pace of the division-leading Rafters.
The Mallards are back in action tomorrow evening. They are set to take on Kenosha Kingfish for the first time this season. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM at Warner Park and gates are set to open at 3:30 PM. To kick off the holiday weekend, the Mallards are hosting U.S. Bank Military Appreciation Night with a postgame concert and fireworks. The Mallards will wear patriotic jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game to benefit Badger Honor Flight. Listen to all Mallards games live by tuning into The Zone 106.7 FM or 1670 AM. For more Mallards coverage, visit mallardsbaseball.com.