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The Madison Mallards (0-2, 19-18) could not hang on to a lead late in the game against the Kalamazoo Growlers (2-0, 11-25) and fell 9-6 on Thursday night in Kalamazoo.

Despite being short-handed due to recent injuries, Madison was able to jump out to an early lead. The Mallards jumped on Kalamazoo in the first inning with three runs. Two of those runs came off the bat of Cade Bunnell’s (Indiana) ground-rule double to right field with the bases loaded. A batter later, Maverick Handley (Stanford) drove in a run with a sac-fly to right field. Madison would go on to tack on three more runs over the next three innings thanks to doubles from Zac Taylor (Illinois) and Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. (California), both down the left field line. After four innings, the Mallards seemed to be in control with a 6-2 lead.

Starter Heath Renz (UW-Whitewater) gave up two runs in the first inning, but afterwards settled in and kept the Growlers scoreless for the next three innings. In the fourth, with two outs, the bases loaded, and a 3-2 count, Renz fit a fastball into the low-outside corner to strike out Kalamazoo’s Jack Duffy looking. However, the Growlers would take back the momentum two innings later as Kalamazoo went on to score seven unanswered runs off the Madison bullpen. One run in the fifth, and two runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings sunk the Mallards. 

The Madison offense continues to produce runs at a decent pace, but Mallard bats have been quiet late in games over the last week. Madison was held hitless in the final three innings of tonight’s game, and Madison has only scored one run in the last three innings of each of the last four games combined. 

Madison has plenty of time to rebound and will look to do so against the Battle Creek Bombers (22-15) tomorrow at 6:05 PM CST. The Michigan road trip continues with a pair of games against the Bombers tomorrow and Friday. The Mallards swept Battle Creek in the last meeting between the two teams. Catch all the action live on 106.7 FM and 1670 AM The ZONE.

 

 

Published On: July 6th, 2017