Mallards blank Growlers in series opener
Coming off one of their more impressive victories of the season Saturday, the Madison Mallards picked right up where they left off with a 6-0 shutout victory over the Kalamazoo Growlers on Sunday night.
It was the first meeting for the two clubs at Homer Stryker Field this season, and the Mallards didn’t take long to get going offensively. Josh Stowers led the game off with a walk for the Mallards, and would advance to third later in the inning on a single from Nico Hoerner. With runners on the corners, Zach Jarrett tallied his 32 RBI of the season when he hit into a fielder’s choice.
Given a 1-0 lead right out of the gates, Mitchell Kilkenny continued to pound the strike zone in his fourth start of the season. After recording eleven strikeouts in his last outing, Kilkenny was able to record six strikeouts in a lineup that included three all-stars.
The Mallards would hold their 1-0 lead all the way until the top of the fourth inning when they were able to score again. Jarrett ripped a one-out triple down the right field line, as he showcased his speed and reached third without having to slide. Noah Cummings (Oral Roberts) in his Mallards debut, would ground out to score Jarrett as he was able to record his first RBI in just his second at-bat.
Kilkenny continued his dominance on the mound, as the Growlers would threaten in both the second and fifth innings but were unable to get a run across in either frame.
Madison would open things up in the top of the fifth inning, when they doubled their lead by plating two. Bryce Carter, (Stanford) last night’s Northwoods League player of the night, led the top of the fifth inning off with a double to left center field. Carter would score when Nate Palace brought in his tenth run of the season with a bloop single to left field. After the Growlers botched a Joe Stefanki bunt attempt, it put runners on the corners as it turned back to Stowers at the top of the order. Stowers would bring Palace in to score with an RBI single that he laced right back up the middle, as the Mallards pushed their lead to 4-0.
Cameron Frost would showcase his stellar glove out in center field in the bottom of the sixth inning, when he robbed a Growler of a base hit with a diving effort to snare a ball just before it found grass.
With the Growlers threatening to get on the board in the seventh, Mallards outfielder Zach Jarrett showed why he’ll be representing Madison in the All-Star game on July 19 th in Kenosha. After a bloop single into shallow right field, the Growlers elected to try and test the right arm of Jarrett with their runner on second rounding third heading for home. Jarrett threw a perfect strike from right field to Stefanki behind the plate, as Stefanki applied the tag for the second out of the seventh inning. It was the closest the Growlers would come to scoring on the night.
Madison was able to tack on two more runs in the top of the eighth inning, thanks to some lackluster defense by the Kalamazoo Growlers.
Troy Bacon would come on to work a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and Alex Smith would follow Bacon’s 1-2-3 inning with one of his own in the ninth as the Mallards held on to win 6-0. It is the second time this season that the Mallards recorded a shutout victory. The Mallards are now 26-15 on the season.
The Mallards will return to action Monday night again in Kalamazoo as they take on the Growlers in game two of their series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 CDT.