Madison Mallards starting pitcher Andrew Neu saved his squad from a four game sweep Tuesday night at Warner Park after squashing the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders in a 5-0 shutout.
Neu said his catcher Drake Baldwin played a major role in his success.
“[He] calls a hell of a game back there. I love throwing to him,” Neu said. “He understands me well”
Neu rebounded from last week’s nightmarish seven-run showing by keeping the Dock Spiders’ offense in check Tuesday night, giving up just three hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts.
Pitching coach Leon Davidson did not tell his starter to make any alterations coming into Tuesday’s outing.
“I told him just don’t change anything. Just come out firing and attack the hitters...and I was proud to see him make that adjustment,” Davidson said.
The Mallards didn’t let any cobwebs form around their bats. Designated hitter Alex Iadisernia punched a solo shot to right off Fond du Lac pitcher Riley Frey for a 1-0 advantage after one. Frey spun his team into a 2-0 deficit in the second after his wild pitch sent Madison left fielder J.T. Benson flying into home from third. The lead stretched in the third with RBI singles into center field from right fielder Bryant Shellenbarger and Benson to push it to 4-0.
Shellenbarger said that his squad, who recently completed their 22nd game of the season, has overcome the tension of working with teammates they’ve never played with before.
“I think we’re finally settling down,” said Shellenbarger, who plays collegiately at the University of Akron. “I think we’re finally relaxing and having fun with it.”
Shellenbarger’s RBI double into left field against Fond du Lac reliever Garner Spoljaric in the seventh inning provided the final blow in Tuesday night’s action. Hitting coach Ryne Stanley said he admires Shellenbarger’s mentality.
“He’s here everyday working his tail off getting ready for the games,” Stanley said. “He steps in the box and he wants to be the guy. He wants to be the one to come up with big knocks.”
The Mallards set their sights next on a doubleheader against the Lakeshore Chinooks in Grafton starting at 11:35 a.m.