The Madison Mallards (3-0) took a 2-1 lead in the fifth, and the bullpen locked down the final four innings to defeat the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 2-1.
The Rafters scored early to grasp a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. However, the Mallards responded in the bottom of the inning as Jordan Stephens (Miami Ohio) hit an RBI single in his debut for the Mallards to tie the game.
The fifth inning was pivotal for the third night in a row, as the Mallards offense began to come alive. Ben Anderson (Georgia) smacked a line drive to center field for a double to advance E.J. Ranel (Lenoir-Rhyne) to third with no outs. Next, Ranel scored on a wild pitch to bring the Mallards up 2-1 over the Rapids.
The Mallards defense flashed the leather and kept the Rafters in check for the rest of the evening. Tanner Bradley (Rend Lake College) earned a save on the mound, marking the first save for the Mallards this season.
The Mallards bats became more powerful in the fifth inning. Ranel started the inning with a single and would eventually advance to third on a double from Anderson with no outs. Ranel came in to score on the next pitch as Nate Barnes (Mount Mercy) launched the pitch out of the catchers range. The error on Barnes was crucial for the Mallards, who took the lead and dominated through the rest of the night.
- Stephens was named Impact Player of the Game after he got an RBI single in the bottom of the first. He was the only RBI of the night for the Mallards.
- Tanner Bradley earned a save, marking the first save for the Mallards this season.
- Anderson earned a double and gunned down the go ahead run at the plate during the fourth inning.
The Mallards and Rafters close out their series tomorrow night at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. It is the first of a three game road trip for the Mallards. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Make sure to catch every Mallards game on The Zone, 1670 AM and 96.7 FM.