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.’

Fred Couples wins Am Fam Championship, Steve Stricker finishes third

MADISON — An emotional and draining few weeks came to an end Sunday afternoon for Steve Stricker.

The Madison resident, who needed a qualifier just to get into the first-ever U.S. Open in Wisconsin earlier in June, and then went and finished in the top-20 against the best players in the world in that tournament last week, was just off the course after his final round of the American Family Insurance Championship when he walked up to speak with reporters. The exhaustion was all over his face, but just how drained was he?

“I’m tired,” Stricker said with a grin. “This is six out seven weeks playing, and the last two have been full of excitement and pressure. It’s been great, don’t get me wrong, but I’m ready for a little time off and to get away from the game a little bit.”

Despite being tired, Stricker came on strong down the stretch, shooting a 3-under-par 69 on Sunday, coming in at 12 under for weekend, good enough to finish in a tie for third.

But no one could keep up with Fred Couples, who took the lead midway through his round and went on to shoot a 66, winning by two strokes over Scott Verplank.

LISTEN: Fred Couples talks about his win.

“It was one of those days where you’re trying to press, you’re trying to catch (Couples), and that makes it harder,” said Stricker, who served as the host of the tournament. “It’s harder to make putts when you have to, and that’s kind of where I felt like I was at today. I had to make them, and I just didn’t.”

Like they did a week earlier at Erin Hills for the U.S. Open, large crowds followed Stricker’s grouping wherever it went during the three-day event at University Ridge. And while it may have added a little pressure to Stricker’s round, Couples reveled in it.

Stricker Post
AmFam scene setter 1
Kelly round one interview
Stricker round one interview
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Fred Couples

“I made a putt at 18 (on Saturday), which put me in a pairing with (Stricker),” Couples said. “That was a big deal because everyone knows there will be 15,000 people all following Steve and I wanted to be in that group. It gets your heart rate going.”

It was Couples’ second win on the Champions Tour this year, as he also took home the title at the Chubb Classic in Florida back in February. But this win came after not playing the last seven weeks thanks to his ongoing battle with his own body breaking down as he gets older.

“He’s a tremendous talent. He’s always been a great player. Why would it stop now? He showed us why he is the type of player that he is,” Stricker said.

“He forced everybody to come and get him and nobody could.”

Stricker was fine with the result.

“That’s OK,” the 50-year-old said. “[Walking up 18] I’m like, ‘Well, if you win now, you have to come back.’ He’s like, ‘I’ll be back.’ So all good things.”

The same could be said of the last few weeks for Stricker. He wasn’t expected to make it into the U.S. Open but did. Few thought he had chance to compete on a monstrous course like Erin Hills, but he silenced any doubters with his performance. And then, in his first chance to play in his own tournament, he more than held held his own. Throw in the money raised for the UW Children’s Hospital this past week and things couldn’t have played out much better for Stricker’s hectic June.

“This just tops it all off,” Stricker said. “It was a tremendous week on all counts.”

Mallards earn winning record for first time since opening night

MEQUON, Wis. — With the second game of the series and an above-.500 record hanging in the balance, the Madison Mallards (13-12) finished the job against the Lakeshore Chinooks by taking a 6-2 win on a lovely Saturday night on the west shore of Lake Michigan.

The Mallards jumped on top of the Chinooks early with a three-run first inning. Infield singles and defensive miscues from Lakeshore made the early lead possible for Madison. Two innings later, Angel Camacho (Jacksonville) would slap a homer over the right field wall with a little help from the wind blowing towards Lake Michigan. Camacho and Thomas Smart (Oakton) teamed up in the fifth inning with a pair of singles to left field to bring in two more runs for Madison.

The middle of the lineup for Madison has been extremely productive over the last week. The first three hitters in the Mallards order found ways on base, but only combined for one hit tonight. It was Camacho and Smart doing the heavy lifting for Madison at the plate. Camacho has now recorded an RBI in five of his last six games, while Smart has knocked in a run in six of his last seven games.

On the mound for Madison, Ryan Schmitt (Illinois) pitched a gem through seven innings, only allowing five baserunners and no runs. Seven innings is the most that Schmitt has thrown in a game both with Madison and at Illinois. The freshman showed confidence and command on the mound as he mowed through the Lakeshore lineup. The Chinooks didn’t sniff anything close to a run until the eighth inning with Schmitt off the mound. Lakeshore pieced together two runs off of three consecutive hits from the top of the lineup with David Stover (Marietta) throwing for Madison. Stover gathered himself next inning, and in the bottom of the ninth, the junior reminded Lakeshore why he has become the Mallards closer by slamming the door to end the game. With his seven inning start, Ryan Schmitt was awarded Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night.

Madison improves to 13-12 on the year, breaking .500 for the first time since being swept by Lakeshore in the second series of the season. With an improving bullpen and a consistent offense, the Mallards are poised to make a run at a first-half second place in the South Division. Madison is currently 3.5 games behind the Kenosha Kingfish (17-9).


USGA: Spectator passes away at U.S. Open

Officials with the United States Golf Association announced early Friday afternoon that a fan attending the U.S. Open at Erin Hills outside of Milwaukee had passed away.

Their statement:

“The USGA was saddened to learn that a spectator at Erin Hills passed away a short time ago. Out of respect for the family, we are unable to provide additional information at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with those surrounding this individual during this difficult time.”

The death is the most significant incident, but not the only one that has taken place around the tournament in the first two days.

On Thursday, a blimp taking aerial shots deflated, caught fire and crashed about a ½ mile from the course, seriously injuring the pilot.

There was also E. coli bacteria found in drinking water at a hydration station near the 12th hole, forcing organizers to bring in bottled water for the rest of the tournament.

Pilot in blimp crash seriously injured

The pilot of a blimp that crashed near the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills late Thursday morning suffered serious injuries, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

In a press release, authorities said the pilot was seriously burned in addition to other injuries, and was taken by a Flight for Life helicopter to a local hospital. The pilot was the only one in the aircraft when it went down.

The crash happened about a ½ mile from Erin Hills where the first round of the U.S. Open was taking place. A deputy noticed the blimp on fire or smoking around 11:15 a.m. and watched as it went down quickly. Two local fire departments responded to the scene to deal with the fire and help with rescue efforts.

Officials with the Sheriff’s Department contacted the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Bureau to help with their investigation.

Bucks unveil team name for new D-League franchise

We knew the Milwaukee Bucks would be outfitting a D-League team this fall and it would play in Oshkosh. Now we know what they’ll be called.

Bucks’ officials announced on Thursday that the new franchise will go by the Wisconsin Herd.

“We are proud to call our D-League team the Wisconsin Herd, which we believe will resonate with fans across the state,” Bucks President Peter Feigin said in a statement. “The Herd will become an important brand extension of the Bucks and we’re excited to watch the emerging talent in the upcoming season.”

The D-League is the NBA’s version of the minor leagues of baseball. The addition of the Herd will give the league 26 teams in 2017.

“The Wisconsin Herd is so much more than a team name; it’s a brand that embodies a group of players fighting to join the Milwaukee Bucks, along with an excited fan base ready to rally behind Wisconsin’s newest team,” Wisconsin Herd President Steve Brandes said in a release from the team. “We hope the people of the Fox Valley join the Herd today with family-affordable season tickets to watch future NBA talent.”

The new logo for the Herd will be unveiled at a special event in Oshkosh on June 22.

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.

Madison Mallard’s: New Renovations

MADISON| The Madison Mallards start their 2017 Northwood’s League season Tuesday May 30th. There will undoubtedly be new faces on the roster, but more importantly to the fans, the new season brings about new renovations to the stadium. The Duck Blind  underwent its largest renovation in the past  five years as the new Great Dane Duck Blind was built using a number of shipping containers. This new project is one of a kind as it’s the first structure ever made using shipping container in a baseball stadium setting  as well as a project in the Madison area. This new stadium seating design will consist of four different levels of suites and general admission seating.

What it Will Feature


General Admission

The new renovations have also improved the general admission seating. The Mallards have improved the general admission seating by adding more seats and improving the spectator’s view of the game. The better view is due to the structure being raised from the ground level.  The seating options in the general admission section will include bar rails, tables, stools and chairs. Admission to the area will still feature all-you-can-eat and drink options. This will include Great Dane Beer and not to mention will now be serving wine, which is new this season. Ticket prices will range anywhere from $25 to $41 depending on the day of the game and the package purchased.



The new Duck Pond will feature 12 new indoor as well as outdoor suite options. These new suites can be booked for groups of 20 to 400 people. These suites can be a great place to take a group of friends or have a company outing. The suites will also feature a high-end menu that includes, beer, wine, pretzels, prime rib, donuts, and any other commonly sold food or beverage at a ballgame. Like the general admission seating, purchasing a suite also comes with the all-you-can-eat and drink perk.Photo: Madison Mallards


The different levels

The second level of the suites has an indoor space with climate control and an outdoor stadium box seating area. This will allow fans the best of both worlds whether it rains or shines. The third level features an indoor and outdoor patio with relaxed stadium seating. The rooftop or fourth level includes an oversized shade awning and a great view of the game. The rooftop feature will accommodate up to 100 guests. The third and fourth level ticket prices are $65 a person, while the second level’s going rate is $75 a person. The Mallard’s season starts soon, so make sure to check out and take advantage of the new stadium renovations!


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