The Madison Mallards (24-10) rolled past the Green Bay Booyah 15-2 on Sunday at Capital Credit Union Park to officially claim the first-half championship in the Great Lakes West division. Justice Bigbie (Western Carolina) recorded a season-high eight RBI in the demolition and the Mallards’ pitching staff shined on the bump.
The Mallards once again started with momentum in the first inning to take a commanding 4-0 lead. Andre Nnebe (Santa Clara) laced a two-out RBI single to score the first run. Then, Drew Williams (San Jose State) drilled an RBI double which was followed by a two-RBI double by Ryne Stanley (North Carolina A&T)
Madison’s offense kept rolling with another run in the second on an RBI groundout from Ben Anderson (Georgia). The Mallards added three more in the fourth after EJ Ranel (Lenoir-Rhyne) contributed an RBI and Bigbie laced a two-RBI single to open an 8-0 cushion.
The Mallards continued the slugfest into the fifth inning with five more runs. Ranel notched another RBI with a sacrifice fly. Then, with the bases loaded, Bigbie crushed his second grand slam of the week over the wall in right, giving Madison a decisive 13-0 advantage.
Green Bay scored two runs in the fifth on an RBI single from Cooper Morrison (UC-Davis) and a groundout by Mike Ferri (UW-Milwaukee), spoiling the shutout and moving the score to 13-2.
In the seventh, Bigbie capped his monster day at the plate with his second home run of the game, a two-run blast to right, serving as the exclamation point of the afternoon and putting the Mallards on top 15-2.
Trevor Marreel (Washburn) was phenomenal on the mound for the Mallards and picked up the win. Marreel threw five strong innings, giving up two runs on three hits while striking out five. Logan Lee (Northwood) was given the loss after allowing eight runs in his start.
The Mallards controlled the game from first pitch to last and opened with a strong four-run first inning. All nine offensive Mallards reached safely and scored at least one run. Five different batters had multi-hit games at the plate and the team totaled a whopping 15 hits in the contest. The offense coupled with dominant pitching from Marreel and Paul Bergstrom (Creighton) allowed the Mallard to cruise past Green Bay and clinch the first-half crown.
- Bigbie recorded his best day at the plate all season. For the second time, he hit two home runs in a contest. The slugger finished 4-for-5 with a season-high eight RBI in the game, highlighted by his second grand slam of the week.
- Stanley churned out a three-hit game at the dish, going 3-for-5 with two RBI while also scoring two runs.
- Timo Schau (Southern Wesleyan) reached safely three times and went 2-for-5 at the plate. Schau scored a team-high three runs in the contest.
- Bergstrom crafted his best performance of the season on the mound and pitched four innings in relief, allowing just one hit. The left-hander struck out two.
With the victory, the Mallards clinched a spot in the 2019 NWL postseason and are guaranteed at least one home playoff game. The Northwoods League adapted a new playoff format in 2019 and the Mallards will square off against the second-half winner in the Great Lakes West in a best-of-three series beginning on August 12. Home field advantage will be granted to the team with the highest overall winning percentage.
For season ticket and package holders, playoff tickets will go on sale on July 5 at 9 a.m. Postseason tickets will be available to the general public beginning at 9 a.m. on July 8. Additional details will be released to season ticket and package holders and posted to mallardsbaseball.com.
The Mallards continue their road swing with a trip to Kapco Park in Mequon, Wisconsin, to take on the Lakeshore Chinooks. The series opener is scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. start on Monday. Hear every pitch of the 2019 Mallards’ season live on The Zone, 96.7 FM and 1670 AM.