The Madison Mallards (16-16, 35-32) stay alive in the South Division playoff race by routing the Green Bay Bullfrogs (10-20, 23-43) 14-4 at Joannes Stadium on Monday evening.
Madison threatened early in the top of the first inning after Green Bay starter Garrett Gooden walked the bases loaded. With the bases juiced, Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) and Doran Turchin (Illinois) both flew out to the infield, and Andrew Baker (Florida) rolled over on a ground ball to second base to strand all three runners.
Despite the missed opportunity in the first, Madison didn’t stay off the board for long. In the second inning, David Vinsky (Northwood) doubled to lead off the scoring effort. Following the double, Cade Bunnell (Indiana) roped a single to left field to score the first run of the day for Madison. The Mallards benefited from Green Bay committing three more walks and an error in the field, and finished with three runs in the second inning.
In the third inning, big-swinging Brock Weimer (SIU-Edwardsville) took it upon himself to add to the Madison lead. Weimer lifted his third home run of the year over the left-center field wall to give the Mallards a 4-0 advantage.
Green Bay stole the momentum of the game after they chased Madison starter Matt McCarty (Louisville) from the game in the fifth inning. Up until the fifth, McCarty had worked a near flawless start, only giving up one run on a double from Mikey Filia in the third inning. In the fifth frame, McCarty allowed the first two Bullfrogs of the inning on base after a walk and a throwing error to third base. With runners on, McCarty gave up a double and two more walks. Madison up 5-3 and no outs, Riley Pawelski (Madison) worked out of the fifth and held Green Bay scoreless in the sixth.
The Mallards lengthened their lead in the seventh inning by exploding for five runs. Turchin lead off the offense with a home run that sailed above the lights at Joannes Stadium. The Mallards knocked three more base-hits after the Turchin bomb and finished the seventh with a 10-4 lead.
After the breakout seventh, it was all Madison. The Mallards scored two in the eighth and ninth to finish with 14 runs. Madison smashed 12 hits on the day, three of them home runs. In the ninth inning, Matt Elsenpeter (North Dakota State) blasted a ball to left field that bounced on top of the wall and then fell on the far side. It was Elsenpeter’s first homer this season with Madison. Tonight was the first time that the Mallards knocked three home runs since Weimer, Turchin, and Bunnell all homered on opening night back on May 31st.
After McCarty gave up four earned runs in four innings, Pawelski and David Stover (Marietta) combined out of the bullpen to shut down Green Bay the rest of the way.
With a win tonight, Madison is still a game and a half out of the playoff race. The Mallards are trying to chase down the Lakeshore Chinooks who currently hold the last playoff spot in the South Division. Madison will be in action on Wednesday at 7:05 PM back at Warner Park for game two against Green Bay. Tomorrow, Mallards Cole Daily (Notre Dame), Zac Taylor, Luke Shilling (Illinois), Simon Rosenblum-Larson (Harvard), Tyler Dyson (Florida), Nate Brown (Florida), and Doran Turchin will all take part in the Major League Dreams Showcase. The showcase features two games, the first starting at 4:05 PM, the second at 7:35 PM. All seven Mallards players will see action in game two. Listen in tomorrow to all the action on 106.7 FM and 1670 AM The ZONE.