Published On: June 1st, 2023

Fond du Lac, WI – The Mallards were able to hold off a late surge from the winless Dock Spiders by stranding five runners in the final two innings in their 6-5 win on Thursday afternoon.

For the third time in the first four games, the Mallards scored at least one run in the 1st inning. On Thursday it was thanks to a sacrifice fly from right fielder Dylan Nevar and then a single off the bat of Korbyn Dickerson against Dock Spiders’ hurler Logan Eisenbarth. The top-of-the-order duo of Jack Tucker and Keenan Taylor struck in the 1st again today by scoring both runs after a walk and a single. The two have reached base in all of their at-bats through each of the first four games.

Fond du Lac was able to scratch right back in the bottom of the 1st against Bryce Leedle, who made his first start of the season. A two-run single from Jake Surane tied the game in the 30-minute first frame at 2-2.

There were zeros on the board after the 1st. Leedle was done after three with just the two earned runs. Eisenbarth lasted seven strong innings with neither of the runs in the 1st inning being earned due to the first of two errors committed by Dock Spiders’ first baseman Seth Sweet-Chick. Madison only had four base runners throughout the rest of the outing against Eisenburg. The Mallards’ bullpen helped the defensive effort with debut performances by Hank Weiss and Josh Wintroub.

The Dock Spiders’ defense imploded in the top of the 8th. Zach Gaudreau entered the ballgame as the first reliever after a shutout outing in their opener on Monday. A walk, five singles, and two errors later, the Mallards led the game 6-2. Jackson Chatterton had the swing that gave Madison the lead after an error moved Keenan Taylor to second base.

Fond du Lac would get one back in the bottom of the 8th inning against Mallards’ reliever Kevin Fee. A leadoff double from pinch-hitter Drew Barragan was later knocked in by Paul Whittmann. Two batters later with the bases loaded, Mallards’ Manager Donnie Scott opted to go to the pen to call on Rashad Ruff. Ruff struck out Jack Peterson looking to leave them juiced.

In the 9th, the Mallards left two on base in the top half. Ruff stayed on for the 9th and saw his first two batters reach. After a strikeout and a flyout, Luke Novitske singled for the fifth time on the day to load the bases for a second straight inning. On a two-strike pitch, Ruff drew a spinning ground ball off the bat of Whittman which got away from second baseman Davis Hamilton, scoring two runs to make it 6-5 with the tying run 90 feet away. Ahead two strikes again, Ruff got Travis Strickler to fly-out to end the game and strand the winning run at first base.

Madison continues their six-game road trip tomorrow in Mequon, Wisconsin against the Lakeshore Chinooks to kickoff a two-game series. First pitch scheduled for 6:35 P.M. at Kapco Park.

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