Mallards Explosive Offense and Strong Pitching Eliminates Rafters
The Madison Mallards (2-0) are advancing to the Great Lakes Division Championship game after defeating the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (0-2) 6-0. Similar to game one, the Mallards explosive offense and strong arms on the mound prevented the Rafters from pulling out a come-from-behind win. Madison earned the sweep to end the Rafters season.
Madisons’ offense picked up where it left off in game one, being dominant right away in the bottom of the first. The Mallards made their way onto the scoreboard after adding two runs off of back-to-back RBI singles from Austin Blazevic (Southeast Missouri) and Jordan Stephens (Miami Ohio).
The bottom of the second inning was no different. Another RBI single, this one by Logan Michaels (Virginia), put the Mallards ahead 3-0 going into the fourth.
RBI singles remained the consistent way the Mallards sent men to home plate. Ryne Stanley (North Carolina A&T) knocked his first RBI single of the game to bring Madison ahead 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth.
Swinging on the first pitch, Nicholas Figus (Illinois Wesleyan) launched his first solo home run of the season to extend the Mallards lead 5-0. Figus hit the Mallards first postseason home run and the teams 41st home run of the summer.
Blazevic mirrored Figus, slamming a solo home run in the of the bottom of the seventh. The home run propelled the Mallards over the Rafters, 7-0.
The Rafters offense remained silent through the top of the eight and ninth innings. Failing to pull out a comeback win gave Madison the sweep and ended the Rafters season.
Mallards starter Eliot Turnquist (Madison College) had a stellar outing in front of his home crowd. Turnquist threw five solid innings, earning four strikeouts. His performance earned him the win, adding a fourth to his record.
Relief pitcher John Sakowski (Creighton University) also dominated on the mound. He pitched over two innings, punching three strikeouts and retiring six.
Rafters starter, Gareth Stroh (Nebraska), took the loss after giving up four runs during his time on the mound.
- Blazevic contributed an RBI single and a solo home run to help the Mallards gain insurance runs.
- Figus earned his first home run of the season and the Mallards first of the postseason.
- Turnquists’ arm shined on the mound and earned him the Impact Player of the Night title, after throwing five innings and striking out four.
Madison jumped on the Rafters early. Scoring two runs in the top of the second, the Mallards carried over their dominance at the plate from game one to set the tone for the rest of the night.
The Mallards advance to the Great Lakes Championship game and will compete against the Traverse City Pit Spitters (2-0). Tomorrow marks the first time the teams are meeting this summer, the game will be held at Pit Spitters Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.