Coming into tonight with a four-game win streak and a sweep of the Michigan road trip, the Madison Mallards (4-2) played in Wisconsin Rapids on Monday night and came up just short against the Rafters (3-4), losing by a final of 4-3.
The Rafters were hot out of the gates, putting up three runs on Mallards starter Jake Baldino (Kent State) in the first inning. Back-t0-back RBI singles from Marco Castillo and Jacob Hinderleider contributed to those three runs.
The Mallards worked their way back as Julio Cortez (USF) singled in a run in the second. Then in the 4th, Dom Toso (Richmond) had a sac-fly to bring in the second run for the Ducks.
The Rafters tacked on an insurance run in the 7th on an RBI-single from McKinley Erves, putting Wisconsin Rapids up 4-2.
That was the score heading into the ninth as the Mallards tried to mount a comeback. Cam Cratic (Missouri State) led off the ninth with a double, and he eventually scored as Alex Iadisernia (Elon) hit into a double-play. Zach Bennett then got the last out and picked up the save for Wisconsin Rapids.
Cole Eigenhuis got the win for Wisconsin Rapids on the mound out of the bullpen. He pitched 3.1 innings giving up just three hits without allowing an earned run.
The Rafters have had the Mallards number so far this season. With tonight’s win, the Rafters clinched the season series with Madison and they now have won seven of nine against the Mallards.
Tonight’s game was the first of a home-and-home series with Wisconsin Rapids. Tomorrow night, the Mallards and Rafters will match up at the Duck Pond at Warner Park with first pitch being scheduled for 6:35 p.m.