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.


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.


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.


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.

Mallards top Dock Spiders with late rally

FOND DU LAC, Wis. — With the series at stake, the Madison Mallards (2-4, 21-20) rallied in the top of the ninth inning to top the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (3-3, 19-23) by a score of 3-2 on Monday night.

In a sunny evening at Herr-Baker field, two outstanding starting pitchers squared off in a duel that dominated the first half of the game. For Madison, Tyler Dyson (Florida) threw the first five innings and held Fond du Lac to only four hits and no runs in his debut in a Mallards uniform. His Dock Spider counterpart on the mound, Jack Collins, controlled Madison for the first six innings and allowed only four hits and no runs.

Despite the strong pitching performances, both teams had opportunities to score that they could not capitalize on. By the end of the game the Mallards had stranded 12 runners on base while Fond du Lac left 11. Fond du Lac reliever Kyle Huckaby kept Madison in check throughout the seventh and eighth innings. After stranding so many runners on base, the Mallards offense seemed as if they would be unable to push a single run across.

The scoring began in the bottom of the eighth inning when, with runners on first and third, Fond du Lac’s Nick Fortes singled to right field to plate Luke Mengieri from third base and give the Dock Spiders a 1-0 advantage.

The Mallards took offense to Fond du Lac’s lead and a half inning later struck back. Jake Matheny (Indiana) singled to center field to lead off the top of the ninth. Behind him, Zac Taylor (Illinois) drove a ball into the left-center field gap to move Jalen Harrison (Virginia), a pinch-runner for Matheny, over to third base. Two batters later with runners on second and third, Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. (California) grounded a ball hard to Dock Spider third basemen AJ Lewis. Lewis bobbled the ball, and then overthrew Mangieri at first base. The fielding error allowed two runs to score for Madison. David Vinsky (Northwood) then singled to the left side of the infield, allowing Mitchell Jr. to score from second. This would prove to be the winning run, as Fond du Lac was able to notch one run in the bottom of the ninth but nothing more.

Vinsky, Taylor, and Matheny, all recorded 2-4 efforts at the plate tonight. The Mallards were only able to muster eight hits, but stellar pitching kept Fond du Lac’s offense under control. After Dyson’s strong start, left-handed reliever Andrew Baker (Florida) tossed a strong two and two-thirds, allowing one run. David Stover (Marietta) and Dom Savino (Albany) combined to polish off the Dock Spiders in the final two innings.

Mallards fall to Fond du Lac 8-3 (AUDIO)

MADISON — The Madison Mallards lost for a sixth time in their last seven games Sunday night, this time an 8-3 setback against Fond du Lac.

Madison was within one run until the Dock Spiders exploded for four in the top of the eighth inning to break the game open. Fond du Lac’s offensive attack was led by left fielder Eric Gilgenbach, who had four RBIs, including a three-run homer.

Matt Horkey took the loss for the Mallards, giving up three earned runs over six innings of work, though it was the efforts out of the bullpen from Sam Cottingham-Beard and Ryan Schmidt that really cost Madison, as the duo gave up four runs in just three innings.

The loss dropped the Mallards to 1-4 in the second half of the season.

It’ll be the same two teams Monday at Warner Park. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. and can be heard on 106.7 FM/1670 AM ‘The Zone.’

Listen: Mike Folta recaps Madison’s 8-3 loss to Fond du Lac

Mallards snap 5-game losing streak with a 2-1 win at Battle Creek

The Madison Mallards snapped a five-game losing streak Saturday night with a 2-1 win at Battle Creek.

The Bombers struggled to get anything going against starter Simon Rosenblum-Larson, who allowed one run on three hits over his five innings of work, while striking out seven batters. Relievers Davis Moore and Dom Savino backed up that effort, throwing four scoreless innings.

Yet, when Rosenblum-Larson left he was still on the hook for the loss despite just the one run given up. A night after not getting a single hit, Madison failed to push any runners across the plate on Saturday night until the seventh inning. There, left fielder Zac Taylor singled to bring in Maverick Handley from third. Three batters later, a wild pitch brought in a second run, which proved to be the game-winner.

Moore got the victory for Madison, with Savino picking up the save.

It was the Mallards first win of the second half of the season as they improved to 1-3.

Madison will host Fond du Lac Sunday afternoon at Warner Park. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m., and the game can be heard on 106.7 FM/1670 AM ‘The Zone.’

Mallards fall 6-4 to Kenosha

A three-run homer from Sam Armstrong was about all the offense the Madison Mallards could muster in a 6-4 loss to Kenosha on Tuesday night.

The bullpens of the two teams was the difference, as four different Kenosha relievers held Madison scoreless over the final four innings of the game, while the Mallards relievers were unable to hold up once starter Nate Brown left after four innings. That included Andrew Buckley, who was tagged for a pair of runs in the ninth and took the loss.

Coll Stanley was the standout for Kenosha offensively with three RBIs, including both of the runs scored in the ninth inning to give the Kingfish the lead and eventually the win.

The loss dropped the Mallards to 16-13 on the year. They’ll travel to take on Kalamazoo on Wednesday night. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m., and the game can be heard on 106.7 FM/1670 AM ‘The Zone.’

Mallards take both games of a doubleheader at Wisconsin Rapids

The Madison Mallards took both games of a double header Thursday night at Wisconsin Rapids.

The first game went to extra innings, with Madison getting a pair of runs in the top of the 10th, including a sacrifice fly by Jeffrey Mitchell, to pull out a 4-3 victory.

The win was due in large part to the relief work of David Stover, Dom Savino and Andrew Buckley, who combined for six innings of action, allowing five hits and one run.

In the nightcap, things were a little more explosive, but Madison still found itself on top with a 12-10 win thanks to a six-run outburst in the seventh and eighth innings.

Centerfielder Doran Turchin and first baseman Angel Camacho combined for six RBIs on the night, while shortstop Cole Daily and third baseman Thomas Smart contributed a pair of their own.

With the two victories, the Mallards moved to 17-13 on the year and are 8-2 over their last 10 games, as they sit in fifth place of the Northwoods League’s South Division.

Madison will face the Rafters again on Friday night at the Warner Park. First pitch is at 7:05 and can be heard on 106.7 FM and 1670 AM ‘The Zone.’

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.