Mallards Fall in Bottom of the Ninth, 3-2

The Madison Mallards (47-22, 19-13) lost to the Bullfrogs (27-42, 15-18) in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday night in Green Bay without allowing a base hit.  The winning run scored on a hit by pitch, two wild pitches, and a passed ball.

With the Mallards down to their last out and trailing 2-1 in the top of the ninth inning, they rallied to tie the game 2-2.  Down to their last strike on two occasions, and with the bases empty and two outs, Trevor Schwecke (UW Milwaukee) and Jake Randa(NW Florida State) drew 3-2 walks to place runners on first and second base.  Tyler Plantier (Richmond) followed with a single up the center of the diamond to tie the game 2-2.  

Turning Point

Trace Norkus (North Florida) started the bottom half of the ninth with a called strikeout, but lost the next man to a hit by pitch.  Blaise Maris, the Bullfrogs catcher and grandson of Roger Maris, scored the winning run after two wild pitches and a passed ball.

Top Mallards

Sean Leland (Illinois) had an effective start, yielding only one run and four hits through four innings

Jake Randa reached base four times on three walks and a single and threw out a runner at the plate from right field

Jonah Smith (Creighton) inherited two baserunners with one out in the bottom of the sixth, stranded those runners and then retired the next seven batters he faced to keep the game close

Tyler Plantier drove in the tying run in the top of the ninth inning, and reached base three times on two hits and a hit-by-pitch

Next Up

Only three games remain in the regular season. The Mallards return home for a two game homestand at Warner Park Friday night August 10 against the Bullfrogs, and Saturday August 11 against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders.  Friday night first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm, and Saturday night’s game will get underway at 6:05 pm.  Friday night at Warner Park will be Milwaukee Bucks night, with several basketball themed activities during the game.  Saturday night’s entertainment will be provided by Illusionist Glen Gerard.

The Mallards home field advantage in the playoffs is no illusion.  As first half champions (28-8), Madison is guaranteed home field for Game 1, Monday August 13, at 7:05 pm.  Get your playoff tickets on to “Pack the Pond” with a capacity crowd.  Depending on results of the last three games over the weekend, the Mallards will face-off in the playoffs against either the Dock Spiders or the Kalamazoo Growlers.  In the Northwoods League playoff format, the top four teams in the South Division will play two sudden death games Monday and Tuesday night.  The South Division champion will then play the North Division champion in the best two out of three games in the Summer Collegiate World Series August 15-17. Listen to all Mallards game action on the Zone, 1670 AM, 96.7 FM.