Mallards Blow Past Woodchucks 7-2
WAUSAU, Wis. - The Madison Mallards (16-6) clicked on all cylinders and defeated the Wisconsin Woodchucks 7-2 at Athletic Park on Monday. Strong pitching and a stellar offensive day from Drew Benefield (Louisville) created a comfortable cushion for the Mallards.
The Woodchucks started the scoring early and took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off RBIs from TJ Reeves (Alabama) and Angel Tiburcio (FIU). Wisconsin had three hits in the first inning, but those were the only base knocks they had the rest of the game.
The Mallards roared back with three runs in the third. Justin Wiley (UAB) scored the first Mallards run on a wild pitch. Later, RBI singles from Logan Michaels (Virginia) and Benefield pushed the Mallards ahead 3-2.
In the fifth, Benefield added insurance as he drilled a two-RBI double off the left-field wall and opened a 5-2 cushion for Madison.
Benefield tacked on the exclamation point to his day with a two-run home run in the seventh inning. The blast was Benefield's Northwoods League-high sixth of the summer and gave the Mallards a strong five-run, 7-2 advantage which ultimately held on as the final.
Quinn Gudaitis (Illinois Wesleyan) tossed six innings on the mound for the Mallards and earned his third win of the season. Gudaitis allowed three first-inning hits and two runs, but also struck out six 'Chucks. Robert Wegielnik (FL Southwest State College) was given the loss. Brody Gibson (Oral Roberts) picked up the save for the Mallards with three strong innings of relief pitching.
With a tie game in the third inning, Benefield bounced a single through the infield to give the Mallards their first lead of the game, 3-2. It was a lead Madison never relinquished.
Benefield mashed at the plate and finished 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and five RBI. It marked his second five-RBI game of the summer.
Michaels was the other Mallard to turn in a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-5 with an RBI. He also scored two of the seven Madison runs.
Gibson entered on the mound in the seventh inning with a comfortable five-run lead, but did not allow any runs for the Woodchucks and picked up his first save of the summer. In three innings of work, Gibson struck out two.
The Mallards return home to Warner Park and close out the series with the Woodchucks on Wednesday. First pitch at the Duck Pond is set for 6:35 p.m. and the game will feature an appearance from Charlie Berens of the Manitowoc Minute. Hear every pitch of the 2019 Mallards' season live on The Zone, 96.7 FM and 1670 AM.
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Northwoods League Stories from June 18, 2019
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