On a beautiful Independence Day ballgame at Warner Park, the Madison Mallards (19-16) fell to the Kenosha Kingfish (23-13). The game went back and forth through eight innings before the Kingfish took the lead for good in the top of the ninth. Kenosha stifled the Madison offense with four double plays that ended multiple Mallards threats.
After giving up a pair of runs in the first frame, Mallards starter Nate Brown (Florida) settled in and pitched well. In his first appearance as a Mallard, Brown worked four innings and allowed only three hits while also striking out a pair. Brown’s Florida teammate Andrew Baker also made his first appearance on the bump for Madison as he worked two innings in relief and struck out four.
The Mallards offense stranded three runners in the game’s first two innings but Madison eventually broke through in the third. Maverick Handley (Stanford) and Jake Snider (Louisville) both reached on singles and with two outs, Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) crushed a line drive into the second level of the Great Dane Duck Blind Suites. Armstrong’s three-run shot was his first long ball as a Mallard and gave Madison a 3-2 lead.
The Mallards would add their final run of the night in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cade Bunnell (Madison College) ripped a leadoff double and was later knocked in by Handley on a sac fly. Handley had a solid day at the dish as he finished with an RBI and a base knock.
The Kenosha pitching staff was able to contain the Madison offense by shutting down the Mallard bats with runners on base. The normally effective Madison offense only managed three hits in 17 opportunities with runners on base.
While the Kingfish pitching staff kept the Mallards off of the board, the Kenosha offense found life in the late innings. The Kingfish were able to tie the game at four in the eighth inning and took the lead in the top of the ninth on a two-RBI single by Coll Stanley. Kenosha held of the Mallards in the final frame and sealed the 6-4 win.
Tonight’s ballgame marked the end of the first half of the 2017 Northwoods League season. The Mallards finished the first half with a 19-16 record, slotting them in fourth place in the South Division. The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters took the first half crown in the South and have clinched their spot in the playoffs.
The Mallards hit the road tomorrow to open up the second half of the season and begin their run at a second half division title and a spot in the playoffs. The first stop of their four game road trip to Michigan will be in Kalamazoo for a pair of ballgames, the first tomorrow at 6:05 PM CT. The Mallards will return home on Sunday, July 9th for a match up with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders. Listen to all Mallards games live by tuning into The Zone 106.7 FM or 1670 AM. For more Mallards coverage, visit mallardsbaseball.com.