Rafters Slip Away from Mallards
Madison, Wis. – The Madison Mallards (7-6, 26-22) fell to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (8-4, 35-13) 5-2 on Thursday night at the Duck Pond. The Mallards led early on before the Rafters offense erupted for five runs in the game’s final four innings.
Mallards starter Nate Brown (Florida) was rolling through the Rafters order in the early going. Brown tallied four strikeouts in the game’s first two innings and worked a total of five scoreless frames. Brown scattered four Rafters hits and stranded five men on base.
In what felt like a pitcher’s duel early on, the Mallards offense broke the silence in the third inning. Madison third baseman Thomas Smart (Oakton) ripped a solo shot to left field to put the Mallards on the board. Smart’s blast was his first of the season.
After Brown exited, the Rafters were able to scrape across a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead. However, the Madison defense limited the Rafters scoring on a brilliant double play. With the bases loaded, Doran Turchin (Illinois) caught the second out in centerfield and fired home to nab a Rafters runner at the plate. The outfield assist kept the score 2-1.
The Mallards responded in the bottom of the frame to tie the ballgame. Jeffery Mitchell Jr. (California) delivered a one-out RBI single to score Zac Taylor (Illinois). Mitchell Jr.’s single was one of two hits on the night and after six, the game was knotted at two.
Rafters starting pitcher Isaiah Carranza was able to limit the Mallards to just the two runs as he worked 5.1 innings and tallied four strikeouts while allowing only five hits. He commanded the strike zone well as he tossed 46 strikes and only 31 balls. Carranza was backed by strong bullpen performances from Mason McReaken, Nick Avila, and Layne Henderson who held the Mallards scoreless for the remaining 4.2 innings.
In the eighth, Wisconsin Rapids league-leading offense broke the ballgame open. The Rafters tallied three runs in the inning and pulled out to a 5-2 lead. The advantage would hold as the Mallards were unable to rally in the game’s final two frames and dropped the game, 5-2.
The Mallards will be back in action tomorrow at the Duck Pond for game two against the Rafters. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM and gates are scheduled for 5:30 PM. The game features the Festival Foods Duckling Maynard bobblehead giveaway. Listen to all Mallards games live by tuning into The Zone 106.7 FM or 1670 AM. For more Mallards coverage, visit mallardsbaseball.com.