Madison, Wis. – The Madison Mallards (13-13, 32-29) won 1-0 in thrilling fashion over the Kenosha Kingfish (11-15, 33-28) on Tuesday night at Warner Park. Both pitching staffs dominated the ballgame until Tommy Bullock (UNC-Charlotte) won the game on a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning.
Madison starter Matt McCarty (Louisville) had a stellar performance as he worked six innings of shutout ball. McCarty pounded the strike zone all evening and pitched to weak contact, allowing only three hits and walking one. McCarty stranded runners in scoring position in both the second and fourth innings. In the sixth, McCarty escaped his greatest threat.
Kingfish slugger Derek Bangert stepped to the plate with a runner on third and two down. McCarty was visited by manager Donnie Scott on the mound and the group decided to pitch to Bangert. The Kenosha slugger worked a full count before McCarty punched him out with high cheese to end the inning.
Meanwhile, Kingfish hurler Nick Long matched McCarty inning for inning. Long also worked six scoreless frames and allowed only four hits while tallying seven strikeouts. Long continuously picked up crucial outs with Madison runners on base. After six, the game was still scoreless.
Drew Buckley, the California slinger, entered for McCarty in the seventh and was also lights out. Buckley ended up pitching three scoreless frames and allowed only two hits. In the seventh and a man on third with two out, Buckley snagged a liner off of the bat of Michael Sinks to end the inning. Riley Pawelski relieved Buckley to start the tenth and also was effective, working two scoreless innings.
While Buckley was shutting down the Kingfish, the Kenosha bullpen was also keeping the Madison bats silent. After the Mallards had chances to score in the bottom of the ninth and tenth, the game headed to the eleventh inning still tied at zero.
In the bottom of the 11th inning, David Vinsky (Northwood) stroked a leadoff single. He ended up on third after a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt. Eventually, Bullock stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two down. Bullock battled to a 1-2 count and then ripped a single into left field to score Vinsky and give the Mallards a thrilling 1-0 win.
“I got down in the count 1-2 and I was just trying to keep a simple approach, just get a hit and get the team a ‘W’,” Bullock said of the game-winning at bat. “It’s awesome, man, I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be here. I’m lucky to get to play out here in front of these fans and with these guys.”
After enjoying a day off tomorrow, the Mallards will be back in action on Thursday for a doubleheader with the Kalamazoo Growlers. Game one is set for 5:05 PM and game two will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Both games will be seven innings. Gates are scheduled to open at 4:00 PM. Listen to all Mallards games live by tuning into The Zone 106.7 FM or 1670 AM. For more Mallards coverage, visit mallardsbaseball.com.