The Madison Mallards (31-17) were sunk for the second consecutive night by the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (31-17). Madison’s struggles on the mound were no match for the raging offense from the Rafters.
The loss puts the Mallards and Rafters in a tie for first place in the overall season standings.
The Rafters pulled ahead of the Mallards in the top of the first by scoring six runs by taking advantage of the struggling starting pitcher. The bases were loaded when a two-RBI single by Osvaldo Tovalin (Azusa Pacific) put the Rafters up 2-0. Madison began to struggle on the mound. A walk with the bases loaded gave the Rafters a free pass to add another run and go up 3-0. To double the lead, Roman Trujillo (New Mexico State) slammed a three-RBI double to give the Rafters a whopping 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the first.
Barely making a dent in the score, the Mallards put one run on the board in the bottom of the inning off a sacrifice fly by Drew Benefield (Louisville) to trail 6-1.
During the second, each team added a run to the scoreboard. The Rafters scored off an RBI single by Peter Matt (Penn), and the Mallards scored off an RBI single from Nicholas Figus (Illinois Wesleyan). Madison trailed 7-2 going into the third.
Neither team managed to score a run until the fifth inning. The Rafters pulled ahead 8-2 off an RBI single by Richie Schiekofer (Rutgers). Madison was able to add another run off a wild pitch to trail by five going into the sixth.
Mirroring the previous inning, both teams notched another run. The Rafters pulled ahead even further off an RBI single by CJ Willis (LSU), the Mallards grabbed a run off an RBI single from EJ Ranel (Lenoir-Rhyne) to make the score 9-4.
The Rafters were unable to come up with any runs for the remainder of the game. The Mallards scored their fifth and final run in the bottom of the ninth off a second sacrifice fly by Benefield. Unfortunately the Mallards came up short and took the loss 9-5.
Trevor Marreel (Washburn) was charged with the loss after giving up six runs in the top of the first.
Nathan Hemmerling (Lakeland) was awarded the win after powering through five innings and preventing the Mallards from taking the lead.
The top of the first set the tone for the game, as the Rafters bats were loud and took advantage of Madison’s struggling defense. The six run cushion only helped propel the Rafters over the Mallards.
- Deylen Miley (Bellarmine) was a stud on the mound. Miley entered the game during the top of the first and pitched through the fifth, punching out five.
- Ben Anderson was named Impact Player of the Night after going 3-for-5 and scoring in both the first and fifth.
The Mallards will return to the Duck Pond after the All-Star break on July 18, for a matchup against the Lakeshore Chinooks (21-26). The evening will serve up a Brew Pub Pizza sublimated shirsey giveaway and will feature Group Health Cooperative pre-game puppy yoga with Custom Canines. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m., gates will open at 5:35 p.m.