After not playing in the 2020 season, the Mallards are set to start their 2021 season at the Warner Park Duck Pond against the Lakeshore Chinooks on Memorial Day evening. The stadium will be at limited capacity for tonight’s game as well as Tuesday’s, but will then open to 100% capacity for the remainder of the season.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited for a season, everybody’s ready to go,” Mallards field manager Donnie Scott said. In addition to Scott, who has been the field manager in Madison since 2013, the Mallards will be coached by two former players in pitching coach Leon Davidson and assistant coach Ryne Stanley. Both were Mallards in 2019 and both just finished their senior and redshirt senior seasons at North Carolina A&T State.
Ryan Lauk, a right-handed pitcher out of Wagner University will be getting the opening day start on the mound for the Mallards. Lauk, a senior, has a career ERA of 4.94 and made 11 starts in his senior season. He has 142 career strikeouts in 138.1 innings pitched. “Ryan is special, he’s got great stuff and throws strikes,” Scott said. Lauk played under Scott last season when the Mallards roster was moved to Kenosha to play as the K-Town Bobbers.
Monday is opening day all across the Northwoods League, and the Lakeshore Chinooks also did not participate in the 2020 season due to COVID-19. This is the first of 12 matchups this season between the Mallards and the Chinooks.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m, with game two against the Chinooks tomorrow scheduled for a 6:05 p.m. start.