Walk-off HR gives Mallards an 8th straight win

It took extra innings, but the Madison Mallards have won eight straight games.

Things were tied in the bottom of the 10th inning when catcher Hunter Hisky drilled a 2-run walk-off homer to beat the Kenosha Kingfish 7-5 on Sunday afternoon at Warner Park. It was the first homer of the season for Hisky, a senior at Southern Baptist.

Along with Hisky, the Mallards were paced by shortstop Garrett Kueber’s two RBIs, and a 2 for 3 night from third baseman Tyler Plantier, who is now batting a team-high .412 on the season.

All of the Kingfish’s runs came in the fourth inning off of starter Dalton Morrow, who had his first rough outing of the year. But the bullpen picked him up, holding Kenosha scoreless the rest of the way. Trace Norkus was credited with the win.

Madison is now 10-3 on the year, the best record in the Northwoods League, and it holds a 2-game lead on the Rockford Rivets in the South Division.

The Mallards and Kingfish will meet again Monday in Kenosha with first pitch coming at 6:35 p.m. You can catch all the action on 96.7 FM and 1670 AM ‘The Zone.’

Mallards squeak past the Woodchucks for fifth straight victory

It took until the top of the ninth for the Mallards to pull ahead of the Woodchucks, in a low-scoring affair Thursday evening.

A pair of solo home runs hit by Tyler Plantier in the third and Jayce McLean in the sixth were all the Mallards were able to produce until their last chance at the dish. The bases were loaded for David Vinsky, thanks to two walks and another batter who was hit by a pitch. Vinsky was able to beat the throw as the Woodchucks tried to turn a double play, allowing Garrett Kueber to score the go-ahead run. You can hear the call below:

The Mallards victory keeps them sitting atop the Northwoods League standings at 7-3.

The Battle Creek Bombers are in Madison Friday and Saturday, then the Mallards wrap up the weekend against Kenosha on Sunday. You can tune in for each Mallards game this season on 96.7 FM/1670 AM The Zone.

Mallards extend win streak to four with win over Woodchucks

The Madison Mallards pushed their win streak to four Wednesday with a 6-4 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks.

Jake Randa kicked the scoring off by driving a single to right field that brought in two runs thanks to an error by the right fielder. Jack Blomgren added a run in the second before the Woodchucks tied it up at the top of the fourth. The Mallards responded with a scoring double from Blomgren and a single from Hunter Hisky that brought Blomgren home.

Though the pitching was sporadic for the Mallards, Trace Norkus was able to come in and earn the save, fending off the rallying Woodchucks for an inning. Brian Morrell earned the win.

The Mallards are on the road again Thursday night at 6:35 at Athletic Park.

Mallards finish off sweep of Kalamazoo

The Madison Mallards finished off a sweep of Kalamazoo on Tuesday afternoon with a 7-1 victory.

The game was tied 1-1 heading into the eighth inning before a six-run barrage by Madison blew things open. The Mallards got home runs from Tyler Plantier and Jesse Forestell, while Jake Randa drove in three runs on the afternoon.

Dalton Wiggins provided a stellar effort on the mound, going eight innings, giving up just two hits, an unearned run, and striking out one as he picked up the victory. Jonah Smith came in the ninth to finish things.

The win moved Madison to 5-3 on the year.

It’ll be back to the Duck Pond on Wednesday night as the Mallards open a series with the Wisconsin Woodchucks. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. and can be heard on 96.7 FM and 1670 AM ‘The Zone.’

Shaq to perform at American Family Insurance Championship concert

DJ Shaq is coming to Madison.

Officials with the American Family Insurance Championship announced Tuesday morning that as part of the Champions Tour event, Basketball Hall of Fame member Shaquille O’Neil will perform at Breese Stevens Field on June 22.

According to the press release, Shaq will have two 20-minute performances. One will take place after the opening act — A Thousand Horses — with the second coming after country singer Sara Evans takes the stage. The night will be capped off by headliner REO Speedwagon.

“Shaq is truly larger than life, and we’re sure his personality and performance skills will add a fun and exciting presence during his visit to Madison and participation in our events,” American Family Insurance Championship tournament director Nate Pokrass said in the release. “For the price of one ticket, concert-goers will be treated to not only one act, but four, and we’re sure Shaq will help us raise even more money for charity.”

Shaq is a brand ambassador for The General, which is an affiliate of American Family Insurance.

You can find more information about tickets to the concert and to the tournament here.

Mallards beat Kalamazoo 7-4

The Madison Mallards went back above .500 on the season with a 7-4 win Monday night at Kalamazoo.

It was a 0-0 game in the third inning when first baseman David Vinsky drove a pair of runs in with a single to center. The Mallards added five more runs between the sixth, seventh and eighth innings in winning their second-straight game.

Centerfielder Jayse McLean had a three-hit night, while Tyler Plantier raised his batting average to .462 with two more hits.

Dalton Morrow got the start for Madison and was solid. He went four innings, giving up one earned run on six hits and striking out two. Though he gave up three runs over 4 2/3 innings, Jimmy Perkins got the win before the Mallards turned to Jonah Smith for a one-out save.

Madison improved to 4-3 on the year and will close out the two-game series with Kalamazoo Tuesday morning. First pitch is set for 11:05 a.m. and can be heard on 96.7 FM and 1670 AM ‘The Zone.’

Mallards take care of Fond du Lac 3-1

The Madison Mallards earned a 3-1 win over the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders on Sunday at Warner Park.

A 0-0 game through five innings, Fond du Lac broke the tie in the top of the sixth only to see Madison answer in its half of the inning. The Mallards would then take the lead their next time up, getting what proved to be the game-winning double from Tyler Plantier.

Brian Martinez got the win for Madison, going 2 2/3 innings and not allowing a hit, before Trace Norkus came on in the ninth to get the save. Those two were only in the position they were due to the effort from Ryan Kutt. He went 5 1/3 innings, giving up one run on five hits and striking out four.

Offensively, Garrett Kueber went 2 for 3 from the leadoff spot with one RBI, while Plantier was 3 of 4 on the night with one RBI.

Madison improved to 3-3 on the year and now hits the road for two games at Kalamazoo.

Mallards Drop First Game Against Green Bay

The Mallards hit the road for the first time this season after splitting their two game series against Wisconsin Rapids. Madison recovered from their offensive struggles the night before, but ended up dropping the first game of the road trip 9-6.

Tyler Plantier (Richmond) hit a solo home run for Madison in the second inning, and Trevor Schwecke (UW-Milwaukee) stayed hot to start the year after driving in a run in the third. In the bottom of the fourth, Green Bay put up four runs that Madison never matched. Although the Mallards had several chances with the bases loaded, they would only score one off of a sacrifice fly by Jayse McLean (NDSU).

The Mallards return to action against the Green Bay Bullfrogs tonight at 6:35, before facing Fond Du Lac Saturday. You can catch Mallards baseball all summer long on 96.7 FM/1670 AM The Zone.

Check out the post-game interview here:

Pro soccer coming to Madison

Professional soccer is coming to Madison.

During an event held at Breese Stevens Field on Thursday night, it was announced Madison had been awarded a franchise in the newly formed third division of the USL. They are one of four teams so far, with the others being based in Georgia, Arizona and South Carolina.

“We’re proud to welcome Madison to USL Division III and to have Wisconsin’s state capital leading Midwest expansion for USL Division III,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said in a release. “The future of professional soccer in the Midwest lies in markets as strong and vibrant as Madison, making the city an ideal pillar for our league in the region.

Big Top Soccer, led by Vern Stenman, Conor Caloia, Jim Kacmaricik and Steve Schmidt, will serve as the ownership group. If those names sound familiar, they should, as Stenman and Caloia oversee the management of the Madison Mallards and three other clubs in the Northwoods League, while Schmidt is the owner of the Mallards and three other teams.

The games will be played at Breese Stevens Field, but not before significant renovations are completed. The Madison City Council approved a new year 10-year contract with Big Top Events, run by Stenman and Caloia, with $1.3 million in improvements for the facility.

Though passionate about the game, the ownership group decided to go outside the family for a talent evaluator, hiring Peter Wilt as managing director.

“We’re building this from the bottom up,” Wilt said. “It’s the world’s game, but this will be Madison’s team.”

The team will start playing games in March of 2019, and Wilt hammered home the idea that the team belongs to the fans and they’ll fight to put the best product they can on the field.

“Together we will build the club. Together we will make this club known and respected throughout the land,” Wilt said. “Together we will live Wisconsin’s motto through this club — Forward!”

You can find more information here about the team, including what the renovations will look like at Breese Stevens and to buy tickets.