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Bullpen Seals 6-4 Win Over Woodchucks

Madison, Wis. –  The Madison Mallards (6-3) picked up their fourth straight win with a 6-4 victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks at the Duck Pond on Wednesday evening. The Mallards lineup provided plenty of offense as eight different Mallards batters recorded hits and every player reached base. Mallards right fielder Jake Randa (NW Florida State) led the charge with two hits and three RBI. Despite the Mallards 12 total hits, the bats could not quite break the game completely open in the game’s middle innings. Holding a two-run lead going into the fifth inning, Madison turned to its bullpen to hold off the Woodchucks and preserve the win.

 

Turning Point

 

With the Mallards leading 5-4 going into the sixth, reliever Brian Morrell (Notre Dame) entered and worked the Mallards first 1-2-3 inning. The Mallards offense responded by adding an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame and Morrell went on to cruise into the eighth inning holding the 6-4 lead. Morrell tallied four strikeouts through 2.1 innings before giving way to Trace Norkus (North Florida).

 

Norkus entered with men on second and third with only one down in the eighth. He executed two crucial strikeouts to escape the inning and hang on to the two-run Madison lead. An inning later, Norkus completed the four-out save by striking out a pair to slam the door shut and seal the Mallards 6-4 win.

 

Quoteables 

Trace Norkus on settling into his role as a closer…

“It’s kind of second nature to me now. I like the pressure. I think I’m a good fit for it. Once you get a few innings under your belt you feel way more comfortable. I just get a feel for the mound, the fans and the stadium, everything like that.”

 

Top Mallards

 

  • LeftfielderJake Randa collected two hits, extending his hitting streak to nine games.

 

  • Mallards newcomer Jack Blomgren (Michigan) had a smooth debut, recording a pair of knocks, including a double off of the right-centerfield fence.

 

  • Second baseman Max Hewitt (Oklahoma State) also had two hits in his first game as a Mallard. Hewitt also collected his first RBI with a run-scoring groundout in the second inning.

 

  • Brian Morrell earned his first win of the season with his strong 2.1 inning performance out of the pen. Morrell has now worked 5.1 innings this season while allowing zero runs and striking out five.

 

 

Next Up

 

The Mallards head to Wausau tomorrow for game two of their set with the Woodchucks. However, they will be back at the Duck Pond for three straight games this weekend. Get ready for plenty of fun at Warner Park as the weekend homestand features two bobblehead giveaways and a post-game fireworks show. For tickets and more information visit mallardsbaseball.com.

 

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The Madison Mallards are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR).  All league games are viewable live via theNorthwoods League portal. For more information, visitwww.mallardsbaseball.comor download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Mallards as your favorite team.