Mallards Drill Rivets 12-3 to Close Road Swing
LOVES PARK, Ill. - The Madison Mallards (39-27) annihilated the Rockford Rivets (32-34) 12-3 in the series finale at Rivets Stadium on Sunday. The Mallards' offense cruised and used an eight-run top of the first inning to blow past Rockford and earn a series split.
It was the first time this season that all nine Mallards in the starting lineup recorded an RBI. All nine also had a hit and eight of the nine Mallards scored a run.
Madison sent 11 batters to the plate and belted five hits in the opening frame which lasted nearly 30 minutes and took a commanding 8-0 lead. Ben Anderson (Georgia), Austin Blazevic (SEMO), Nick Figus (Illinois Wesleyan) and Drew Williams (San Jose State) all laced RBI singles.
Jordan Stephens (Miami-Ohio) cranked a two-RBI double in the frame as well. EJ Ranel (Lenoir-Rhyne) and Wade Stauss (SEMO) each also notched an RBI on a walk and groundout, respectively.
Rockford got on the scoreboard in the third inning. Jake VanderWal (Long Beach State) knocked an RBI single and Matt Higgins (Bellarmine) lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 8-2.
Madison scratched across two more in the fourth to open a 10-2 advantage. Drew Benefield (Louisville) smacked an RBI single and later took advantage of a wild pitch and throwing error to come in and score.
In the fifth, Timo Schau (Southern Wesleyan) picked up an RBI and drove home the 11th run of the game for Madison, opening a nine-run cushion.
Each team scored a run in the eighth, moving the game to its final score of 12-3. Madison brought home a run on a single from Blazevic and the Rivets brought home their final run on a ground ball out.
Brian Weissert (Fordham) earned the win for the Mallards with three perfect innings in relief and Matt Morgan (UW-Steven's Point) notched his first save of the summer by throwing the final three innings for Madison.
Johnny Czelawski (Northern Iowa Area CC) donned the loss after not getting an out in the first inning and allowing six runs.
Right at the start of the game, the Mallards' offense came out hot. Madison tagged Czeslawski for six quick runs and forced the Rivets to get nine innings out of their bullpen. Immediately, the Mallards batted around and jumped out to a lead of greater than four runs in the first inning for the third time in four games.
Weissert was perfect in relief. The right-hander retired all nine Rivets he faced through the middle innings and struck out four.
Blazevic was one of three Mallards with a two-hit game and led the pack with a two-RBI game. He finished 2-for-5 and drove home a couple of runs, boosting his season RBI total to 32.
Schau got on base four times for the Mallards and picked up one hit. Schau scored a game-high three runs and added another RBI to his season tally.
The Mallards return home to Warner Park to start a two-game series with the Battle Creek Bombers. First pitch at the Duck Pond is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and will be Alliant Energy STEM Night at the park. Hear every pitch of the 2019 Mallards' season live on The Zone, 96.7 FM and 1670 AM.
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