Mallards' Offensive Engine Revs, Win Big at Home
Madison, WI - The Mallards returned home after the one day pause for the Major League Dreams Showcase on Wednesday night to complete their two-game series with the Lakeshore Chinooks. Madison was able to earn a series split with a 17-7 win.
Madison got their offense started early behind their starting pitcher Tommy Ellisen (6 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) with a three-spot in the bottom of the 2nd. Doubles from Christian Rivera (3-4, 3 RBI, 2 R) and J.J. Rollon (2-4, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB, HBP) put the Ducks in front to draw first blood. After Lakeshore scored their first run of the game in the top of the 3rd, Madison repeated a three-run inning in the home half; this time, in a more unorthodox way. A walk and a single put two runners aboard before the first of three Lakeshore' errors, a sacrifice fly from Davis Hamilton, and a wild pitch on the first batter faced by bullpen arm Luke Schafer for the Chinooks. Lakeshore refused to go away in the next handful of innings as they scored six consecutive runs across three innings to take a 7-6 lead including a two-run moonshot from Stephen Hrustitch.
Madison was able to knot the game at 7-7 when Colin Hageman scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the 6th. In the same at-bat, Scott Shaw came through for a second straight game with a two-run single to right field, giving the Mallards a 9-7 lead.
Controversy ran wild right before the stretch from the Duck Pond. With two outs and two runners on base, Hrustich came to the plate against Mallards' reliever Justin Miller. The Northwestern product, Hrustich skied a ball high and deep into left-center field. Mallards' center fielder J.J. Rollon made his way back and tumbled to the ground while the ball landed into the damp dirt following an early rain storm in the morning. However, the umpiring crew threw their fist in the air signaling out - inning over. After an appeal, Chinooks' manager Travis Akre got his money's worth and was tossed from the game.
Madison's offense in the bottom of the 8th was something that many were waiting to see all season long. 62 games into the season, the Mallards season-high for runs in an inning was seven. They broke that tonight with eight runs in the 8th. The near-40 minute offensive frame saw Shaw's second triple in as many games to take the team's lead and a birthday blast from now 19-year old Josh Caron, to tie the team's lead with eight home runs. The Mallards tied their season-high in hits at 16 for a fifth time.
Madison opens a series with the playoff-bound Wisconsin Rapids Rafters tomorrow from Warner Park; a team the Ducks are winless against this season (0-8). Game coverage, for the first time, can be found on ESPN+ with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 PM for a 6:35 PM first pitch.
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