Mallards fall to Woodchucks in pitching battle

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.

(MallardsBaseball.com)

Mallards back at .500 after a 5-2 win at Lakeshore

Five strong innings from starter Heath Renz helped Madison to a 5-2 win over Lakeshore on Friday night in Northwoods League action.

Renz allowed two runs over five innings of work, while striking out eight to pick up his first win of the summer. His only real mistake all night was a pitch out over the plate in the first inning that Rylan Thomas knocked out of the park.

A pair of relievers – Mitch Vogrin and Andrew Buckley – went the rest of the way, with Buckley earning the save.

Offensively, the Mallards got a nice effort from the top of their lineup. The duo of Cole Daily and Cade Bunnell accounted for three of the team’s seven hits, and Daily scored twice.

The win moved Madison back to .500 (12-12) on the year.

It’ll be the same two teams on Saturday night in Kenosha. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. and can be heard on 106.7FM/1670AM “The Zone.”

Mallards take care of Fond du Lac 7-2

The Madison Mallards got back on the winning track Thursday night at the Duck Pond with a 7-2 win against Fond du Lac.

Madison was powered offensively by first baseman Angel Camacho. The Jacksonville sophomore drove in four runs on the night, while shortstop Cole Daily had three hits and three runs scored.

Starting pitcher Luke Matheny made it four innings, giving up one run on three hits before giving way to the bullpen. From there Rafi Vazquez, Dom Savino and David Stover basically held the Fond du Lac lineup in check, allowing just one run on a total of four hits in the last five innings.

The win allowed Madison (11-12) to salvage a split of the two-game series with the Dock Spiders (9-15).

The Mallards will now head to east to take on Lakeshore tonight with first pitch at 6:35 p.m. You can hear all the games on 106.7 FM and 1670 AM “The Zone.”

Mallards fall to Fond du Lac 12-7 (Audio)

A ninth-inning rally wasn’t enough for the Madison Mallards, as they fell to Fond du Lac 12-7 on Wednesday night.

Madison trailed 11-3 heading into the final inning, but managed to push across four runs to make the final line more respectable.

The Mallards were paced offensively by Thomas Smart, who went 3 for 5 and knocked in a pair of runs. Cole Daily also had a productive night going 3 of 4 with a run scored, while Jake Matheny had two hits and an RBI.

The game, though, was likely decided in the first inning when the Dock Spiders lit up starter Matt McCarty. He managed to retire just one of the batters he faced, while allowing six runs before manager Donnie Scott replaced him.

The loss dropped Madison to 10-12 on the season.

It’ll be the same two teams on Thursday night at the Duck Pond. You can listen to every Mallards game on 1670AM/106.7FM “The Zone.”

Listen: Recap of Madison’s 12-7 loss to Fond du Lac

Former Mallards OF Derek Fisher debuts with Astros

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Former Madison Mallards outfielder, Derek Fisher, made his Major League debut for the Houston Astros on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Fisher is the 177th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Fisher, who played collegiately at Virginia, played for the Madison Mallards in 2012. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 1st round, 37th overall, of the 2014 MLB Draft.

In 2012 with the Mallards, Fisher hit .315 over 51 games and had eight home runs, 10 doubles and two triples. He also drove in 36 runs and stole eight bases.

Fisher started his Minor League career in 2014 with the Astros Rookie Level team in the Gulf Coast League. After one game, he was promoted to the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. Between the two teams he hit a combined .310 with two home runs, three triples, two doubles and 18 runs driven in. He also stole 17 bases and scored 31 runs.

Fisher started the 2015 season with a promotion to the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Lo-A Midwest League. After 39 games with Quad Cities he was sent to the Lancaster JetHawks of the Hi-A California League. For the season, he hit .275 in 123 games with 22 home runs, 21 doubles and eight triples. To go along with those impressive numbers, he also stole 31 bases and drove in 87 runs.

A promotion again for the 2016 season saw Fisher begin the year with the Corpus Christi Hooks of the AA Texas League. He would play in 102 games before another promotion to end the season to the Fresno Grizzlies of the AAA Pacific Coast League. Over 129 games he hit .255 with 21 home runs, 21 doubles, four triples and 76 runs driven in. He also tacked on 28 stolen bases and scored 71 runs.

Prior to his call-up to Houston, Fisher had played in 60 games and was hitting .335 with 16 home runs and 45 RBI. He also had 19 doubles and had stolen 13 bases.

In his Major League debut against the Texas Rangers, Fisher started the game in left field. In the 6th inning he hit the second pitch he saw from Jeremy Jeffress for a home run to left field for his first Major League hit. Then again later in the 6th inning he would single off of Rangers reliever and former Brainerd Blue Thunder pitcher Dillon Gee. Fisher would finish the game 2 for 3 with a home run, two runs scored, two RBI and two walks.

(NorthwoodsLeague.com)

Troy Bacon leads group of four Mallards taken in MLB Draft

MADISON, Wis. — The 2017 MLB Draft featured four former Madison Mallards players, including Northwoods League All-Star pitcher Troy Bacon.

Bacon (Santa Fe College) was drafted in the fourth round (110th overall) by the Atlanta Braves. In his 2016 season with the Mallards, Bacon led the team with 53 strikeouts, six saves, and 13.76 strikeouts per nine innings. At the halfway mark of the season, he led the Northwoods League in wins, despite pitching out of the bullpen.

Mallards selected in 2017 MLB Draft:
RHP Troy Bacon | Atlanta Braves (4th Rd. 110th overall)
RHP Tyler Buffett | Cincinnati Reds (6th Rd. 167th overall)
RHP Colin Brockhouse | Toronto Blue Jays (24th Rd. 729th overall)
SS Matt McCann | Los Angeles Angels (25th Rd. 745th overall)

Tyler Buffett posted a 20-12 record in his four-year career at Oklahoma State with a 3.78 ERA. His lone season in Madison didn’t quite live up to that level, finishing his 2014 campaign with a 1-4 record and 6.35 ERA. Despite the slight dip in production, it surely didn’t hurt that he’s the cousin of Warren Buffett.

Having success in the 2016 season with Bacon was Colin Brockhouse. He finished with a 2-1 record and a 5.40 ERA in four starts, while striking out 7.0 batters per nine innings. Brockhouse was draft-eligible as a sophomore out of Ball State last season, but chose not to sign after being selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 37th round.

Matt McCann spent two seasons in Madison, finding success with the Mallards in the 2015 and 2016 campaigns. He played significantly more in the 2016 season where he posted a .262 batting average with 70 total bases. He also recorded one home run and 22 RBIs. As a player at Farleigh DIckenson University, McCann led the Knights in career stolen bases. He also led the conference in batting average (.379), hits (69) and stolen bases (25).

Mallards split weekend series with Bullfrogs

GREEN BAY, Wis. — After a 20-1 rout of the Green Bay Bullfrogs (2-3) on Saturday, the Madison Mallards (2-3) split a two game series with their South Division foes with a 4-1 loss on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Joannes Stadium.

Roles were reversed from the previous night, when the Mallards belted 24 hits to the Bullfrogs five. Today, the Mallards were held to four hits from a Green Bay pitching effort lead by Connor Wollersheim (Kent State). Wollersheim threw seven innings and struck out six. Darren Kelley (Alabama State) and Nick Ohanian (Mesa CC) teamed up out of the Green Bay bullpen to shut down the Mallards by striking out five of the last six batters.

Green Bay jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the second before Madison was able to put their lone run on the board. Cade Bunnell (Madison) ripped a two-out double in the third inning to score Nick Schrader (Western Illinois), who was hit by a pitch a few batters earlier. Madison would not be able to cook up any more offense for the remainder of the afternoon.

For the Mallards, freshman Ryan Schmitt (Illinois) started on the mound and gave up one run through four solid innings in his first start this season. In the sixth inning, with Dom Savino (Albany) on the bump, the Bullfrogs were able to load the bases. With the bases jammed, Green Bay left-fielder Troy Johnston (Gonzaga) launched a bases-clearing double over Doran Turchin’s (Illinois) head in centerfield, bringing in three Bullfrogs.

The Mallards will now travel to Kalamazoo for a pair of games against the Growlers. The first of the two games is set to start tomorrow at 6:05 PM CST (7:05 PM ET). The Mallards next home game will be on Wednesday, June 7 when they take on the Rockford Rivets at 6:35 PM at the Duck Pond. All Mallards games can be listened to live on 106.7 FM and 1670 AM The ZONE.

(MallardsBaseball.com)

Mallards offense erupts in 20-1 win over Bullfrogs

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (2-3) dominated the Green Bay Bullfrogs (1-4) on Saturday night, winning 20-1. The Mallards were spectacular in all phases of the game as they tallied 23 hits, allowed just one run, and didn’t commit an error. The Mallards offense clicked as every batter in Madison’s lineup recorded multiple hits.

Centerfielder Doran Turchin (Illinois) had a spectacular evening as he posted a 4-for-4 clip, highlighted by a monster grand slam in the second inning. Turchin racked up six RBI in the game and reached base in each of his six plate appearances. The rest of the offense also performed exceptionally as every Mallard batter recorded multiple hits. Additionally, eight of nine Mallards knocked in runs.

“I was working on some things in batting practice the last couple days and I finally felt comfortable at the plate again”, Turchin explained. “We just didn’t want to give any at-bats away. We wanted to keep adding on. It is fun just hitting non-stop when you’re up there every inning or every-other inning.” Following his stellar performance, Turchin was named the Northwoods League Position Player of the Night.

The Mallards offensive outburst put the team back in the win column. Field manager Donnie Scott was pleased with the team’s aggressiveness. “They weren’t waiting to see if it was a strike or not, they were attacking. Everyone was in attack mode tonight. You don’t get too many games like that.”

Madison starter Luke Matheny (Oklahoma State) hurled a gem in his first start of the season. Matheny pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just one hit: a single in the fifth inning. Matheny struck out four while walking one. After posting the second-lowest ERA for Madison last season, Matheny seems to be picking up right where he left off.

With the win, the Mallards end the five-game home stand on a high note before hitting the road for the first time in 2017. They will face the Bullfrogs on Sunday, before traveling to Kalamazoo for a two-game set against the Growlers. When asked about the season’s first road trip, “I feel a lot better now. We were flat, that’s the bottom line,” Scott said. “We had the big opening night then just kind of went dead, so it was nice to see them rebound the way they did.”

The Mallards will return to the Duck Pond on Wednesday, June 7th to face the Rockford Rivets. The Mallards will host a food drive for Willy St. Co-Op Night. First pitch is set for 6:35 PM at Warner Park. Gates are scheduled to open at 5:00 PM.

(MallardsBaseball.com)

Mallards fall to Chinooks in series finale 10-3

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (1-3) dropped a second game to the Lakeshore Chinooks (3-1), 10-3 on Friday night at Warner Park. Kian O’Brien (Madison College) had a pair of hits for the Mallards and also scored a run. Centerfielder Doran Turchin (Illinois) reached base three times as he tallied both a double and a single and drove in a run.

After a quick first two innings, in which Mallards starting pitcher Mitch Vogrin (Illinois State) retired the Chinooks in order, the Lakeshore bats began to heat up. Zach Biermann, who drove in seven runs last night, delivered a heavy blow with a grand slam over the left field fence. In all, the Chinooks tacked on seven runs in the third to jump out to an early lead.

After the Chinook offensive outbreak, Mallards reliever Andrew Buckley (California) entered the game in the fifth with the team trailing 8-0. Buckley was extremely effective as he worked three perfect innings while striking out five. The efficient outing gave the Mallards a chance to get back in the game.

In the bottom of the seventh, Madison was able to chip into the Chinook lead. O’Brien smashed a leadoff single and Nick Schrader (Western Illinois) drew a walk two batters later. As the large crowd of 6,383 grew louder, Lakeshore pitcher Peter Bovenzi walked another pair of batters, putting Madison on the board. Thomas Smart (Oakton) was then plunked by an errant pitch to drive in another run. The rally cut the Chinooks lead to 7-2. The Mallards would add their final run of the night in the bottom of the ninth.

Madison’s lack of timely hitting allowed Lakeshore to keep a comfortable advantage. They recorded a baserunner in seven of the nine innings but couldn’t come through with enough clutch knocks. However, after tallying three runs in the final three frames against the Chinooks, the Mallards will look to build on some offensive momentum tomorrow night against the Green Bay Bullfrogs.

The Mallards welcome the Bullfrogs on Saturday night for the first time in 2017. First pitch is set for 6:35 PM at Warner Park. The game will feature The Great Dane Summertime St. Patty’s Day with an appearance by The Trinity Irish Dancers. There will also be post-game fireworks presented by Zimbrick Honda. Gates are scheduled to open at 5:00 PM.

(MallardsBaseball.com)

Mallards fall 5-3 to Fond du Lac

MADISON — A very good outing from starter Simon Rosenblum-Larson was not enough for the Madison Mallards as they fell to the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders 5-3 on Wednesday night at the Duck Pond.

Rosenblum-Larson went 5 2/3rds innings, giving up just one run on three hits and striking out nine. But when he left the game, the flood gates opened, as reliever Andrew Buckley gave up three runs in 2/3rds of an inning to take the loss.

Shortstop Jett Manning and designated hitter Cole Daily each had an RBI for Madison, which fell to 1-1 on the year.

The Mallards will host the Lakeshore Chinooks on Thursday night. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. and can be heard on 1670AM and 106.7FM “The Zone” in Madison.