The Madison Mallards (10-7, 29-23) blew past the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (9-9, 25-29) with an 11-5 win at Herr-Baker field on Tuesday night.
Both teams started fast. Two infield errors committed by Fond du Lac allowed Cole Daily (Notre Dame) and Doran Turchin (Illinois) on base in the first inning. After David Vinsky (Northwood) was hit with a pitch, Thomas Smart (Illinois-Chicago) knocked a bases-loaded single into center field to bring home Turchin and Daily. A batter later, Andrew Baker (Florida) doubled to bring in another run to give the Mallards an early 3-0 lead.
Fond du Lac would respond with a run in the bottom of the first inning, but Madison slapped another two runs in the second. Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) brought home two Mallards with a single to centerfield, and the Mallards grabbed a 5-2 lead after two. Armstrong now has a hit in seven straight games.
After an action-packed two innings, Madison starter Matt Horkey (UNC-Charlotte) settled in and cruised through the Fond du Lac order. Horkey finished with six innings and six strikeouts to his name. The left-hander only allowed three baserunners over the last four innings he worked.
The Mallards pulled away in earnest in the fourth inning. Brock Weimer (SIU-Edwardsville) led things off with a double over the head of Fond du Lac centerfielder Eric Gilgenbach. Doran Turchin and David Vinsky then singled and the Dock Spiders would go on to walk four batters and commit two errors in the field. A sloppy defensive and pitching effort from Fond du Lac turned into a four-run fourth for the Mallards. With a 9-2 lead, the Mallards would control the rest of the game.
The Dock Spiders attempted a run at the Mallards lead in the seventh by putting up three runs off Mallard reliever Sam Cottingham-Beard (Western Illinois) in the seventh inning. However, after the seventh, David Stover (Marietta) and Andrew Buckley (California) combined out of the Madison bullpen to slam the door on the Dock Spiders.
Madison finished the day with twelve hits. Every batter in the Mallard order recorded at least one base-hit. David Vinsky, Andrew Baker, and Cade Bunnell (Indiana) all tabbed two-hit nights. Baker hit his first extra-base hit of the season tonight with a double to left field. The Florida freshman also made two spectacular plays in left field, including a diving catch heading back towards the left field corner.
The Mallards split the series with Fond du Lac tonight and continue to gain ground in the tight Northwoods League South Division. Madison is back in action tomorrow at 11:05 AM CST in Rockford for the first game of a double header against the first-place Rivets (12-5, 29-22). The second game of the twin bill will be held at Warner Park in Madison at 7:05 PM CST. Listen in live on 106.7 FM and 1670 AM The ZONE.