Mallards Earn Split with Growlers, 4-2

The Madison Mallards (14-8) received a strong pitching night from starter and relievers alike in a 4-2 win over the Kalamazoo Growlers (13-11) on Wednesday at Warner Park.

The Mallards wasted no time getting the offense going in the first inning, as Nico Hoerner led off the game with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on an RBI groundout by Matt McCann.

Matt Vierling then followed that with a single and a stolen base before scoring when Cameron Frost reached on an error.

With the 2-0 lead right out of the gates, the Mallards then extended it to 3-0 on a solo home run by Zach Jarrett in the fourth inning. Madison starting pitcher Mitchell Kilkenny made his Mallards debut and pitched five shutout innings.

The Growlers threatened in the sixth, scoring a pair of runs off reliever Alex Smith, but Luke Shilling got the Mallards out of a jam that inning and added another inning of work.

The Mallards picked up some insurance on Growler defensive miscues again in the seventh, as Nico Hoerner advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored on another error by Kalamazoo shortstop Connor Kopach.

Luke Shilling, Logan Sherer and Troy Bacon combined to allow just two baserunners over the final two and two-thirds innings to seal the victory.

The Mallards remain at home Thursday night to face the Wisconsin Woodchucks at 7:05 p.m. at Warner Park. Coverage can be heard live on The Zone.

Brauser’s Strong Relief Lifts Growlers Past Mallards

The Madison Mallards (13-8) were unable to overcome four errors defensively as the Kalamazoo Growlers (13-10) won by a final score of 8-7 on Tuesday night at Warner Park in Madison.

It was a rough night for both teams’ starting pitchers, as Madison’s Mike Reitcheck allowed six runs, five of which were earned, over four innings. Growlers starter Larry Wood did not fare much better, allowing five earned runs and three free passes over just an inning and two-thirds.

Despite trailing by an early 5-2 score, Kalamazoo clawed their way back by scoring four unanswered runs to take a 6-5 lead in the fifth inning. Out of the bullpen, Hayden Brauser mopped up nicely, pitching the final seven and one-third innings and giving up just four hits and two runs.

After the offense went quiet following a four-run second inning, the Mallards immediately fought back to retake the lead, 7-6 in the fifth, courtesy of a two-run single by Zach Jarrett.

Madison could not hold its 7-6 lead late though, as Connor Kopach unleashed a two-run home run in the eighth inning to provide the knockout punch for Kalamazoo. The Growlers’ shortstop drove in three runs in the win.

Four different Kalamazoo batters had multiple hits on this night, and Brauser was able to survive a two-out, two men on rally in the bottom of the 9th to preserve the Kalamazoo win. The two teams rematch on Wednesday at 7:05 on The Zone.