Mallards end season with victory over Bombers, but miss playoffs

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (19-18, 38-34) capped the 2017 season with a 6-1 victory over the Battle Creek Bombers (22-15, 42-30) at Warner Park on Sunday evening. The Mallards used consistent offense and a steady performance from the bullpen to end the season on a positive note.

The Mallards offense was constantly putting pressure on the Battle Creek pitching staff as the Mallards totaled nine hits and drew six walks. The Mallards opened the scoring in the bottom of the second on a heads up baserunning play by Matt Elsenpeter (NDSU). Elsenpeter scored from second on an infield single by Andrew Baker (Florida). Meanwhile, Madison starter Nate Brown (Florida) held down the Bombers bats and the Mallards led 1-0 after two.

Later on, the Mallards calibrated their power strokes at the plate. In the fifth, with the Mallards leading 2-1, Doran Turchin (Illinois) launched a two-run home run over the left field fence to extend the lead. The home run was Turchin’s team-leading 13th of the season. He also finished the summer with 50 RBI, the most on the Mallards.

Two innings later, third baseman Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) crushed a two-run bomb of his own, this time into the Great Dane Duck Blind Suites. Armstrong’s homer was his second of the series and his sixth of the season at Warner Park. The two-run dinger gave the Mallards a 6-1 lead.

The Mallards pitching staff deployed six total arms to shut down the Bombers. The squadron held Battle Creek to only five hits and racked up eight strikeouts. The Madison defense was strong behind the hurlers as Elsenpeter made a pair of spectacular plays at second base and shortstop Tommy Bullock (UNC-Charlotte) flashed the leather a couple times on the left side of the infield.

The Mallards finish the season with a 38-34 record and tied for fourth place in the South Division. However, the Lakeshore Chinooks held the tie breaker and clinched the fourth playoff spot. Still, the Mallards put together a successful season and finished above .500 for the 15th consecutive year. Manager Donnie Scott now owns a 198-154 through five seasons with the team. For more Mallards postseason coverage, visit mallardsbaseball.com.

(MallardsBaseball.com)

Mallards crush Green Bay 14-4 to keep playoff hopes alive

It’s the final week of the Northwoods League season, and the Madison Mallards are still in the playoff race.

That’s after a whipping Green Bay 14-4 Monday night, leaving manager Donnie Scott’s team 1 ½ games behind Lakeshore for the final playoff spot in the South Division, according to the team’s website.

Madison drilled three home runs on the night, including solo shot by center fielder Doran Turchin, his team-leading 11th on the year. He finished with three RBIs, as did right fielder Cade Bunnell.

Matt McCarty got the win, giving up two earned runs over four innings of work. The bullpen was great as Riley Pawelski and David Stover allowed just one hit over the final nine innings of the game.

The Mallards are now 35-32 on the year with four games to play.

They’ll take on Green Bay again on Wednesday, this time at Warner Park in Madison. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., and can be heard on 106.7 FM and 1670 AM ‘The Zone.’

Mallards face favorable schedule in playoff hunt

MADISON, Wis. — With the Northwoods League playoffs approaching, the Madison Mallards have some ground to make up, though their postseason hopes still remain very much alive.

Playoff format

The Northwoods League playoff field expanded in 2015 from four to eight teams, with the top four teams from each division (North and South) earning a playoff bid. Those playoff berths are based on overall record, with the division winner of each half of the season earning an automatic home playoff game.

The first two days of the playoffs are single elimination games, with the third and final day of competition a best-of-three series.

Standings as of Aug. 5 at 9:30 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the playoffs started today…

As shown in the graphic, Madison remains 12 ½ games behind Wisconsin Rapids in the overall season standings and is on the outside looking in. With eight games remaining on their schedule, the Mallards cannot earn a No. 1 seed.

Sorting the graphic by half, Madison remains left out of the postseason, sitting in sixth place.

Madison can reach the playoffs if…

The second-half standings show the Mallards just 5½ games behind the Rockford Rivets. A come-from-behind win of the South Division would not only earn Madison a playoff spot, but a guaranteed game at home. To do that, Madison would need to win at least six of their final eight games, along with late season collapses by the teams ahead of them in the standings.

If Madison wants to earn the No. 4 seed in the overall South standings, they would need to catch the Lakeshore Chinooks (1½ games head) who they will play for a two-game series Saturday and Sunday. That can be achieved by sweeping the weekend series. Helping their cause is a two-game series Thursday and Friday against the Wisconsin Woodchucks, who sit nine games behind Madison overall.

The only other South Division team left on Madison’s schedule is Battle Creek (five games ahead). The Mallards will host the Bombers for the final two games of the regular season Aug. 12 and Aug. 13.

Remaining schedule

Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 vs Lakeshore (34-29, 0.540)

Aug. 7 and Aug. 9 vs Green Bay (21-41, 0.339)

Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 @ Wisconsin (24-40, 0.375)

Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 vs Battle Creek (37-25, 0.597)

Madison’s remaining opponents combine for a winning percentage of 0.463.

 

Mallards pound Woodchucks to complete weekend sweep (AUDIO)

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (9-6, 28-22) dominated in all phases of a 13-2 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks (5-11, 20-31) at Warner Park on Sunday afternoon. Every Madison batter reached base and the Mallards pitching staff only allowed four total hits in the team win.

The Mallards fell behind 1-0 after just two batters in the top of the first. However, Mallards starter Tyler Dyson (Florida) would quickly settle in after allowing the initial run. Dyson worked five total innings and only allowed one hit after the first frame. Dyson tallied six strikeouts and didn’t issue a single free pass as he went on to earn his second win of the season.

“Once I got back to attacking guys it went well. I was just trying to make them hit my best stuff. My stuff got better after that first batter. I got behind against the first few batters and I just can’t do that or they’re going to hit it,” Dyson explained. “I just got back to attacking and that’s how I settled in.”

After the first inning Woodchuck run, the Mallards quickly responded. Cole Daily (Notre Dame) drew a leadoff walk and Mallards centerfielder Zac Taylor (Illinois) followed with a two-run shot over the left field fence to put the Mallards in front. Taylor finished the ballgame 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.

With the game tied at two in the third, the Mallards executed with runners on base again. After three Mallards reached base to start the inning, Jeffery Mitchell Jr. (California) and Thomas Smart (Oakton) used back-to-back sacrifice flies to put the Mallards in front, 4-2. Mitchell Jr. was just beginning his huge ballgame as he ended the day with three runs batted in.

After adding another run in the fourth, the Mallards busted the game open in the bottom of the fifth. Following a Mitchell Jr. RBI single and walk by Smart, Madison first baseman Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) crushed a three-run dinger into the third level of the Great Dane Duck Blind Suites beyond the right field fence. The bomb gave the Mallards a seven-run lead and the Madison offense would go on to add four more in the inning. After five, the Mallards led 13-2.

In the sixth, the Mallards bullpen picked up right where Dyson left off. Matt McCarty (Louisville), Riley Pawelski (Madison College), and Luke Schilling (Illinois) combined to toss four scoreless innings to seal the 13-2 win. The group only allowed one hit and Pawelski managed to strikeout three Woodchucks. Overall, the Madison pitching staff held the Woodchucks to just two runs on four hits.

(MallardsBaseball.com)

Mallards aid South in Northwoods League All Star Game win

WAUSAU, Wis. — All three Madison Mallards representatives got playing time for the South Division team in a 6-2 victory over the North in Tuesday night’s Northwoods League All Star Game.

Shortstop Cole Daily finished the night 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, while scoring two of his team’s six runs. Outfielder Doran Turchin tacked on an RBI with a 2-for-4 performance, while pitcher Simon Rosenblum-Larson had a more pedestrian outing. The Northwoods League leader in strikeouts, Rosenblum-Larson allowed three hits and an earned run in his single inning of work.

Those performances, combined with a four-run eighth inning resulted in a win for the South. Daily and Turchin played the entirety of the contest, as Madison gets set to resume league action on Thursday night against Wisconsin Rapids.

Home Run Derby
Turchin was also a participant in Tuesday night’s Home Run Derby, in which the North defeated the South 13-11. Players representing each division alternated turns blasting home runs in a nine-inning format, with each batter getting six outs to work with. Turchin was unable to record a home run, with Rochester’s Zach Zubia taking home the title with five home runs.

Preview: Mallards in the 2017 Northwoods League All Star Game

WAUSAU, Wis. — Three Madison Mallards players will be taking part in Tuesday night’s Northwoods League All Star festivities held at Athletic Park, home of the Wisconsin Woodchucks.

Events
Home Run Derby | 5:00 p.m.
All Star Game | 7:05 p.m.

Mallards Participants (Event)
SS Cole Daily (All Star Game)
OF Dorin Turchin (Home Run Derby, All Star Game)
RHP Simon Rosenblum-Larson (All Star Game)

Daily comes into the 2017 Northwoods League All Star Game leading the Mallards in hits (67), ranking fourth in batting average (.345), and fourth in RBI (22). During the weekend series against Kenosha, Daily combined to go 5-for-8 at the plate with an RBI double.

The lone Mallards representative taking part in both All Star break events, Turchin leads Madison in both home runs (10) and RBI (40), while maintaining a solid batting average of .299. His home run count ranks fourth in the Northwoods League, with his most recent blast coming in Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Kingfish.

Rosenblum-Larson sports a 2-1 record with the Mallards, leading the team with 51 strikeouts on the year — the next closest is Dom Savino with 30. Rosenblum-Larson’s last start came in a 10-0 Jul. 14 win over the Lakeshore Chinooks in which he pitched five shutout innings while striking out nine and allowing just a single hit. His 1.06 ERA this season leads Madison among starters.

The entire Northwoods League All Star Game roster can be found here.

Home Run Derby Format:

  • The competition will feature nine innings, with all participants from each division (North and South) getting six “outs” per half inning
  • The player who racks up the most home runs after nine innings will be crowned the individual champion
  • The division with the most collective home runs from its representatives after nine innings will be announced as the team winner

Taylor’s grand slam sends Mallards into All Star break on winning note (AUDIO)

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (7-5, 26-21) completed a sweep of the Kenosha Kingfish (5-6, 27-19) on Sunday evening at the Duck Pond with a 9-2 win. Mallards outfielder Zac Taylor (Illinois) delivered a go-ahead grand slam that pulled the Mallards away from the Kingfish.

In the early going, the ballgame was controlled by both starting pitchers. Mallards starter Tyler Dyson (Florida) tallied three strikeouts in the game’s first two innings. Despite allowing a few base knocks and a run in the third, Dyson made a quality outing as he worked five innings and racked up five strikeouts.

Opposing Dyson, Kingfish starter Mitch Boyer also pitched well in the early going. After surrendering a run in the first, Boyer worked two scoreless frames to keep the game knotted at one. However, Boyer ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth.

With two down and the bases juiced, Taylor crushed a 2-2 pitch into the Meriter and Physicians Plus Backyard. The grand slam gave the Mallards a 5-1 lead and control of the ballgame. Taylor has now homered in back to back games and has knocked in seven runs over his last ten at bats. Taylor’s clutch two-out dinger was the turning point in the ballgame.

Following Dyson’s five innings of one-run ball, Mallards reliever Andrew Buckley (California) entered and worked a pair of scoreless innings. Buckley allowed only one hit and issued one walk while keeping the Mallards lead intact. In the bottom of the seventh, the Mallards offense was able to pad the lead. The inning was highlighted by an RBI base hit by Mallards second baseman Matt Elsenpeter (NDSU). Elsenpeter’s knock gave him his first hit and RBI with Mallards.

After the big seventh inning, Dom Savino (Albany) worked two innings and secured the 9-2 Mallards win. Madison has now won three straight ballgames and rides a hot streak into the all-star break.

(MallardsBaseball.com)

Chinooks snap Mallards 3-game win streak (AUDIO)

MADISON, Wis. — On Thursday night at the Duck Pond, the Madison Mallards (4-5, 23-21) fell to the Lakeshore Chinooks (6-3, 24-20) 8-4. The early innings featured offensive fireworks, but both pitching staffs settled in as the game progressed.

To begin the ballgame, both offenses came out crushing the baseball. Lakeshore tallied a pair of runs in the top half of the first on a two-run bomb by Rylan Thomas. However, Madison’s offense responded immediately. The Mallards leadoff man, and all-star, Cole Daily (Notre Dame) crushed a leadoff dinger to start the bottom of the first. The home run was Daily’s first of the season and pulled Madison within a run. The Mallards were not finished in the inning as Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) knocked in Doran Turchin (Illinois) on a base hit. After one, the game was tied at two apiece.

The Chinook lineup kept their pedal on the gas as the game progressed and they tallied runs in both the second and third innings. However, Madison starter Tristen Bayless (Texas A&M) was able to control the damage as the Chinooks stranded a total of five base runners in the frames. Bayless would hold the dangerous Chinooks scoreless for the rest of his outing. He exited after five and the Mallards trailed 4-2.

After the electric first inning, the Madison bats went cold. It took until the bottom of the sixth for the Mallards offense to ignite thanks to the bat of Turchin. With the Mallards trailing 5-2, Turchin smashed a two run shot into the Budweiser Rooftop to bring the Mallards within one. Turchin, who will be participating in the 2017 NWL Home Run Derby, now has nine home runs this season.

While the Mallards drew within striking distance, the Lakeshore lineup refused to be held down. The Chinooks tallied three runs in the top of the eighth to extend their lead to 8-4. Lakeshore relievers Marshall Oetting and Nick Campe were dominant in the final three innings and kept the Mallards off the board.

(MallardsBaseball.com)

Mallards win third straight in sweep of Bullfrogs (AUDIO)

GREEN BAY, Wis. — In a muggy night at Joannes Stadium, the Madison Mallards (4-4, 23-20) pulled out their third win in four games, holding on for 7-5 victory over the Green Bay Bullfrogs (1-7, 13-30). The Mallards swept the Bullfrogs for the first time this season and are now at .500 in the second half of the season.

The Mallards jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Green Bay starter Jared Tobey struggled to throw strikes and ended up walking three Mallards and hitting a batter. With two runners on, David Vinsky (Northwood) doubled to left field to bring in a run. A couple batters later, Maverick Handley (Stanford) drew a walk with the bases loaded to force in a run. By the end of the game, the Mallards drew 10 walks in all and the Green Bay pitching staff walked in two runs.

After Madison’s two-run first inning, Green Bay responded with a three-run home run from Ben Hart in the second. The Bullfrog hitters were able to work three consecutive full counts to pump up Mallards starter Heath Renz’s (UW-Whitewater) pitch count leading up to the Hart home run. Renz worked close to the strikezone all night but was unable to work out of innings quickly. The starter made it through four innings and allowed four earned runs on four walks and three strikeouts.

Down 4-2, the Mallards waited until the fifth inning to strike again. Lead off singles from Cole Daily (Notre Dame) and Zac Taylor (Illinois), as well as a walk drawn by Doran Turchin (Illinois) loaded the bases for the Madison clean-up man Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. (California) with no outs. With the Green Bay starter Jared Tobey still on the mound, Mitchell Jr. poked an infield single over the pitcher’s head to bring in the first run of the inning. David Vinsky and Cade Bunnell (Madison) knocked in two more runs while Maverick Handley drew another walk with the bases loaded to bring home another Mallard. After the dust settled in the fifth, Madison had a 6-4 lead.

Both teams would go on to score one more run each, Madison’s run coming from a passed ball that scored Daily from third base in the eighth inning.

After Renz threw the first four, Ryan Schmitt (Illinois), Sam Cottingham-Beard (Western Illinois), and Andrew Baker (Flordia) teamed up out of the bullpen to finish off the Bullfrogs. Schmitt allowed one run in the sixth inning, but that was all the damage Green Bay could do against the Mallard pen. In the seventh inning with a runner in scoring position and only one out, Cottingham-Beard struck out two Bullfrogs in the heart of the order to work out of a jam.

Offensively, Vinsky and Turchin both recorded doubles. Zac Taylor looked strong at the plate again as he launched three hard-hit balls into left, two of which found their way into the mitt of Green Bay left-fielder Mikey Filia. Maverick Handley recorded a 1-2 effort with three walks and two RBI. Handley has now reached base safely in 11 straight games.

(MallardsBaseball.com)

Mallards offense erupts in rout of Bullfrogs (AUDIO)

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (3-4, 22-20) offense erupted late Tuesday night in a 13-4 rout of the Green Bay Bullfrogs (1-6, 18-29) at Johannes Stadium.

The first five innings of Monday night’s ballgame closely resembled the last few weeks for the Mallards. Madison left runners in scoring position a couple times in the first few innings and couldn’t seem to break through with timely hitting. All of that changed in the sixth inning when Zac Taylor (Illinois) decided to switch things up and lay down a perfect bunt down the third base line for a base hit to lead off the inning. Later in the sixth, a sac-fly from Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. (California) and a base hit from Maverick Handley (Stanford) knocked in the first two runs for Madison to knot the game at two.

Another sac-fly from Doran Turchin (Illinois) in the top of the seventh inning gave the Mallards the 3-2 lead. Mitchell Jr. and Turchin each recorded an RBI today. Mallards RBI-twins are tied for fourth in the league with 36 RBI each.

Green Bay reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh, but not for long. Madison hit back in the eighth and ninth with three and seven runs respectively. The Mallards feasted off the Bullfrogs bullpen and hit balls all over the field. In the top of the ninth, with the bases loaded, Taylor launched a grand slam over the left field wall to lengthen the lead for the Mallards.

Taylor recorded two hits on the day, a bunt and a grand slam, but peppered the ball around the field in every at-bat. David Vinsky (Northwood) tallied a 3-4 effort at the plate in his fourth game with the Mallards. Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) substituted late in the game into the designated hitter spot and immediately made an impact. Armstrong crushed the second pitch he saw down the right field line to score two Mallards. Madison would go on to record 12 hits as a team on the night, scoring runs in each of the last four innings.

Nate Brown (Florida) gave Madison a strong start on the mound. Through five innings, Brown overpowered the Green Bay lineup. He allowed only two runs and struck out nine. The two runs came off of a home run by Alonzo Jones. Matt McCarty (Louisville), Andrew Buckley (California), and Dom Savino (Albany) combined out of the bullpen to hold Green Bay to two runs on four hits through the last four innings.

The Mallards were perfect in the field aside from a Cade Bunnell (Indiana) error at second. Tonight was a team effort from the Mallards. The offense broke through late in the game and Madison got a strong effort on the mound from the pitching staff. The Mallards are now 3-4 in the second half of the regular season and 22-20 overall.