The Mallards squandered a perfect opportunity in the 9th inning, lose in 10th
Madison, WI – The Mallards first extra inning contest of the season ended in a 6-3 loss at the hands of the first-place Wausau Woodchucks on Thursday night at Warner Park.
Everytime that Wausau scored tonight, Madison answered back immediately… until the 10th inning. The Woodchucks pushed for two runs in the top of the 2nd inning against Mallards’ starter Kade Lancour. A leadoff walk out of a full-count issued to Brent Widder and a single by Mike Adair put the first two batters on board. After a passed ball, a Drew Berkland single scored Widder and a double play ball from Jake Baker plated Adair.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Madison hit their first home run at Warner Park this season. Jake Goolsby, who went 3-4 on the night, smashed a pulled fastball for his first bomb of the campaign against right-hander Luke Fernandez.
The Woodchucks’ lead grew to 3-1 on a 6th inning RBI single off the bat of Dalton Pearson. The Mallards, however, were there to answer again. Ryan Sprock, a day removed from being named the Northwoods League Player of the Night, singled home Jack Tucker to cut the lead to one.
With a sold-out crowd for a second consecutive night in Madison buzzing, the team rallied for one more run in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game at 3-3 on two Woodchucks’ errors. Madison had a prime opportunity to walk-off for the first time since 2021 in the bottom of the 9th inning against Cesar Avila with the bases loaded and just one out. Avila forced Jackson Chatterton to pop-out and Sprock to strike out to strand three.
Beginning in the 10th, question marks started arising. With the Woodchucks due up in the top half of the frame, the umpiring crew came together to converse and after a short chat, the crew demanded that an out be put on the board and a runner be placed at second base. The only issue… the Northwoods League rulebook does not state that there should be an out to begin an extra inning. After a walk issued to Jake Baker from Rashad Ruff, a hanging breaking ball was blasted to left field by Jake English to hit a go-ahead three-run home run in his Woodchucks debut. The Mallards, trailing 6-3 got an equal chance with one out on the board in the bottom of the 10th. Isaiah Jacksonwalked and Jayden Lobliner earned his first base knock of the year with two outs after a Mike Gupton strikeout. With the tying run at first base, Cole Hentschel struck out Jake Goolsby to end the ballgame.
The Woodchucks now lead the season series between the two ball clubs, 2-1. Madison will travel to Athletic Park in Wausau tomorrow to finish out this home-and-home set with the division-leading Woodchucks with a 6:35 P.M. first pitch scheduled.