3rd inning surge lifts Mallards past Bombers 6-2

first_imgIn a regulation baseball game, nine Innings are played to decide the winner. However, in last night’s game between the Madison Mallards and Battle Creek Bombers, the game was all but decided in one inning as the Mallards won 6-2.The key inning for the Mallards was the bottom of the third. With one out and bases loaded, Mallards center fielder Lucas LeBlanc, hit a three-run double, which gave the Mallards a 4-0 lead. It was LeBlanc’s 13th hit in the past 10 games, hitting .342 during that stretch.“I feel relaxed at the plate and I have my timing down,” LeBlanc said. “I’m just glad to be able to help the team win games.”The third inning nightmare continued for the Bombers, as Mallards infielder Stephen Bruno hit an RBI double, widening the lead to five. Bruno finished the game 2-for-3, giving him his sixth multi-hit game of the season. The Bombers finally retired the final out, but the damage was already done. The Mallards were able to load the bases twice, go through the entire batting order and get five hits. This all translated into a five-run inning for the Mallards and that only means one thing to Mallards fans. Whenever five runs are scored in one inning by the Mallards, every fan gets a free single scoop of ice cream from Culver’s.In the fifth inning, the Mallards hit a small speed bump, giving up two runs, one of which was unearned. While the Mallards were able to come away with the victory, they had four errors on the game. This is concerning due to the fact that they have been struggling with errors all season long. As a matter of fact, the Mallards have committed 48 errors total, a number that head coach C.J. Thieleke would like to see go down.“We have been giving up way to many easy runs,” Thieleke said. “Teams aren’t earning their runs. It makes me feel uneasy until the very last out.”Aside from the fielding mistakes, the Mallards were at the top of their game, especially in the pitching department. Starting pitcher Matt Morgan threw a near masterpiece through the first four innings, only giving up one hit. Morgan was able to come away with his second win of the season, striking out six and giving up only one earned run. The Mallards only gave up a total of three hits in the entire game. This is especially impressive given the fact that they gave up 12 hits to the Bombers the night before in an 8-7 loss.“Matt Morgan’s start was exactly what we needed,” Thieleke said. “[the Bombers] swung the bats last night. To hold that team to three hits tonight, we had to do some things on the mound. I was happy with the way Matt started. He gave us a chance to be in the game after five innings.”Another key difference from tonight’s game, was the fact that the Mallards were able to keep the ball in the park. After hitting two home-runs the night before, the Bombers were shutout in the home-run column. As a matter of fact, there were no home-runs hit by either team in this game, as opposed to the six home-runs hit in the night previous. Granted, Thieleke loves the long ball, but he prefers playing small-ball.“Obviously the home-runs are fun, but I would rather manufacture runs like we did tonight,” Thieleke admitted. Whether it’s getting guys over or hitting the ball in the gaps, execution creates tempo.”With the win, the Mallards find themselves 4-3, only one game back from first place in the Northwoods League South Division.“If we can play good defense, the way we’ve been hitting we’re going to be a hard team to beat,” LeBlanc said.last_img read more

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