Former Madison Capitols D Mitch Hults signs with Anaheim Ducks

MADISON, WI | The Madison Capitols, a member of the United States Hockey League, announced former defenseman Mitch Hults has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

Hults, 22, played in 55 games for the Capitols as a defenseman during the 2014-15 season, and collected 13 goals and 21 assists for 34 points, and 90 penalty minutes. He is currently ranked eighth on the Capitols all-time penalty minutes with 90 minutes and 10th all-time with 21 assists. Hults is the first Capitols player to sign an NHL contract following his time in Madison.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of Stoughton, WI, moved to the forward position and has recorded 54 points (20-34=54) and 98 penalty minutes in 76 games with the Lake Superior State University Lakers the last two seasons, 2015-2017.

Prior to joining the Capitols in 2014, Hults played two seasons with the USHL’s Indiana Ice. He registered 24 points (10-14=24) and 22 penalty minutes in 64 games with the Ice from 2012-14. Hults also won the Clark Cup with the Ice in 2014 with five playoff goals in eight games.


Mallards confirm manager Donnie Scott will return in 2017

MADISON, Wis. — As first reported by the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network in August, Donnie Scott will return as manager of the Madison Mallards for the 2017 season.

The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon via the team Web site:

The Madison Mallards have announced that Field Manager Donnie Scott will return for his fifth season. Scott, who led the Mallards to the playoffs in 2016, has a career record of 160-120 in Madison.

“I’m very honored and excited about returning to manage the Madison Mallards for a fifth season. The mission like, every year, is to contend for the Northwoods League Championship. The fans and the atmosphere at the Duck Pond make it so much fun to be at the ballpark! It truly is my ‘Field of Dreams’,” said Scott.

In 2016, the Mallards fell short in the first round of playoffs in a heartbreaking 8-9 loss to the Battle Creek Bombers. “I felt last season was a successful one and I’m looking forward to carrying that momentum into this season. I believe the 2017 roster that has been assembled is as strong as we’ve had in my time with the Mallards,” said Scott.

Scott has a very impressive resume with an overall record of 213-146 in the Northwoods League, winning two Summer Collegiate World Series Championships, his most recent in 2013 with the Mallards. He won his first championship in 2011 with the Battle Creek Bombers, where he was also named NWL Manager of the Year. Scott will look to add his third title in 2017.

“We are excited to have Donnie back again for the 2017 season,” said Mallards General Manager Tyler Isham. “Donnie’s professional experience and gritty approach to the game make him one of the best managers in the Northwoods League. Donnie does an excellent job developing our young players, while still putting an emphasis on winning. We are excited to see what he does with the group of young men we have coming to Madison in 2017.”

Scott was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the second round of the 1979 amateur draft. He made his MLB debut with the Texas Rangers on September 30, 1983. He spent time in the major leagues as a back up and part time catcher for the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds until he ended his MLB career in 1991.

After concluding his MLB playing career, Scott went on to manage the Rookie level Billings Mustangs (Montana) of the Pioneer League. Scott led the Mustangs to four league championships.

He returned to managing the Gulf Coast (Rookie) Reds after spending three seasons as Field Coordinator. He went on to have two tenures with Class A Dayton Dragons (Ohio), where he led the Dragons to the playoffs four out of five seasons.

Scott was named Manager of the Year in the Pioneer League in 1992 and Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball Weekly in 1994. Scott has also managed two Midwest League All-Star games and has a career record of 689-569 (.548) in the minor leagues.

Scott, 55, resides with his wife Debbie in Pinellas Park, Florida and has two children, son David and daughter Dana. In the off-season he works at NextUp Baseball Academy.

The Mallards will be hosting a live video interview with Donnie on Friday, November 4 at noon via the Mallards Facebook page. Fans can join the conversation on the Mallards Facebook page and submit their own questions for Donnie.

Bucks confirm October preseason game in Madison

MADISON, Wis. — As previously reported by The Zone on June 23, the Milwaukee Bucks will hold a preseason game at the Kohl Center, facing the Dallas Mavericks Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The Bucks also announced their training camp would begin Sept. 27 in Madison, traveling to the Kohl Center for the second consecutive year.

“We are thrilled to return to Madison for a second consecutive year,” Bucks General Manager John Hammond said. “The facilities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are unrivaled and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in the state’s capital last preseason. The Bucks proudly represent the entire state of Wisconsin and we look forward to connecting with the amazing fans at the Kohl Center once again.”

In addition to the training camp, the Bucks unveiled their full preseason schedule, which again includes six games.

  • Mon, Oct. 3 @ Chicago Bulls (United Center)
  • Sat. Oct. 3 vs Dallas Mavericks (Kohl Center | Madison, Wis.)
  • Wed. Oct. 12 @ Indiana Pacers (TBD)
  • Sat. Oct. 15 vs Chicago Bulls (BMO Harris Bradley Center)
  • Mon. Oct. 17 @ Detroit Pistons ((The Palace of Auburn Hills)
  • Wed. Oct. 19 vs Indiana Pacers (BMO Harris Bradley Center)

Bucks to hold October preseason game in Madison

MADISON, Wis. — In an exclusive interview with The Zone’s Eric Rogers, Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin revealed the team will hold a preseason game at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. in October.

Milwaukee will once again be partnering with the University of Wisconsin to use its facilities for September training camp before holding the October preseason game on an undetermined date. Last year, the Bucks beat the Timberwolves 106-88 in an Oct. 20 preseason contest at the Kohl Center in front of 12,381 fans.

Decisions on dates and opponents for training camp and the preseason matchup will be decided in the next 90 days, per Feigin.

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.