WAUSAU, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (14-13) fell 1-0 to the Wisconsin Woodchucks (10-17) in a pitchers’ duel at Athletic Park on a sunny but chilly Monday night.
The Mallards could not continue their four-game winning streak, as it was the Madison bats that fell short. Tonight was the third time the Mallards have been shutout this season. Madison outhit Wisconsin 6-5, but could not come through with any clutch at-bats. Doran Turchin (Illinois) and Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. (California) both managed multi-hit games, but every time the Woodchucks sensed danger on the base-paths, the Wisconsin pitching staff slammed the door on the Mallards hitters. Madison left runners on second and third base in both the first and second innings. They stranded ten total tonight.
Simon Rosenblum-Larson (Harvard) was handed the loss, despite throwing five innings and only allowing one run on three hits. The only run of the game came in the third inning after the Ivy Leaguer plunked Woodchuck Jackson Owens, who then scored from third two batters later off a Trey Dawson single to center field. Jason Ruffcorn (Texas A&M) and Andrew Buckley (California) finished off the last three innings for Madison out of the bullpen. The Mallards played well in the field again tonight, but solid defense could not save them in a night where runs came at a premium.
Tonight’s loss is a tough one to swallow for the Mallards, who are racing for second place in the Northwoods League South Division. Despite the loss, the appearance of some fresh faces brings life to the Madison roster. Freshman right-hander Jason Ruffcorn made is Mallards debut on the mound tonight, showing off a heavy fastball and the ability to work of a jam with runners in scoring position. Another freshman, Jake Snider (Louisville), exploded onto the Northwoods scene with a double down the left field line in his first at-bat with Madison. The Mallards await more help in the bullpen over the next couple weeks in the form of more pitchers from Texas A&M and Florida.
The Mallards will be in action back at Warner Park Tuesday night for a two-game series against the Kalamazoo Growlers (8-19) at home. Gates open at 5:30 for the Schwinn Family of Bikes giveaway. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Listen live on 106.7 FM and 1670 AM The ZONE. Before the game, be sure to stop by Warner Park for the Schwinn Bike Safety course that will be held from 10 AM – Noon. This free course will feature bike inspections and safety lessons from the Madison Police department. The first 50 kids in attendance will receive a free bike helmet and all kids will receive a free voucher to a future Mallards game.