Mallards Fall 4-3 to Rafters
The Madison Mallards (11-2) out-hit the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (6-7) 14-9, but lost 4-3 in the series opener. In the top of the ninth inning, the Mallards moved the game-tying runner over to third with two outs, but couldn’t bring him home.
The Rafters jumped out to an early lead in the first inning after loading the bases with no outs. Osvaldo Tovalin (Azusa Pacific) hit into a double play that scored two runs and gave the Rafters a 2-0 advantage.
The Mallards struck back and evened the game in the fourth inning. After Jordan Stephens (Miami Ohio) bounced into a fielder’s choice to plate the first run. Later in the inning, Wade Stauss (SEMO) drilled an RBI single to tie the game 2-2.
However, the Rafters responded quickly with two runs of their own in the fourth. Roman Trujillo (New Mexico State) and Richie Schiekofer (Rutgers) hit back-to-back RBI singles to open a 4-2 cushion.
The Mallards rallied in the eighth inning but ultimately the comeback fell short. With one out in the ninth, Nick Gile (Madison College) hit a sac fly to score Timo Schau (Southern Wesleyan) and slim the deficit to 4-3.
Mallards’ starter Lowell Schipper (Richmond) was the losing pitcher and he is now 1-1 on the season. Matt Osterberg (St. Cloud State) earned the win and is 2-0 after tossing seven innings for the Rafters.
With a tie game in the fourth inning, the Rafters re-upped their two-run lead. The rally came with two outs in the inning after a hit-by-pitch and single set the table for the RBIs by Trujillo and Schiekofer.
- Stauss finished 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and drew a walk. He reached safely in all but one of his four trips to the plate and tied the game with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning.
- Brian Weissert (Fordham) and Nick Morales (San Jose State) were solid out of the bullpen for the Mallards. Weissert tossed two innings and did not allow a hit while striking out two. Morales pitched a perfect eighth inning with one strikeout.
- Schau collected two hits at the plate and scored two of Madison’s three runs. He finished 2-for-5 at the dish and his batting average is now a clean .333 for the 2019 season.
The Mallards and Rafters close out their two-game series at Witter Field on Monday night. First pitch between the division rivals is set for 7:05 p.m. Hear every pitch of the 2019 Mallards’ season live on The Zone, 96.7 FM and 1670 AM.