Iadisernia’s walkoff homer turns tide for Mallards

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Madison Mallards outfielder Alex Iadisernia (Madison Mallards/Northwoods League photo)

 Alex Iadisernia found redemption for his team on Tuesday night. 

“It was satisfying,” the Madison Mallards center fielder said of a 7-6 walkoff win that snapped the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters’ five-game winning streak over his club. “We knew coming in that this team had our number.” 

Madison’s starting pitcher Eliot Turnquist said that a hostility has existed between the two teams. 

“We’re rivals with these guys,” Turnquist said. “There’s been bad blood between us in the past.”

Mallards catcher Drake Baldwin led the charge in the first with a two-run homer off Wisconsin Rapids starter Jack Gonzales just inside the left field foul pole. Baldwin said he didn’t feel anxious about whether it would go foul at the last second.

“I wasn’t too worried. I know I got it good and backspun it,” Baldwin said. “I knew it was gonna be fair. I didn’t know if it was going to be a homerun or a double, but glad it went out.”

The Rafters executed a four-hit counterattack in the second, tying the game up on RBI singles from second baseman EJ Exposito and catcher Weston Eberly. Turnquist said that things just weren’t going his way in the inning.

“They got a couple of soft hits that fell in,” Turnquist said. “I lost a few pitches as well.”

The Mallards’ bats answered, though, as left fielder Matthew Scannell’s lead-seizing RBI groundout and first baseman Kyle Bork’s single into center field advanced Madison in front 4-2 in the fourth. Madison second baseman Michael Fuhrman extended the lead with a solo shot to left in the sixth off Rafters reliever Donovan Brandl. 

Iadisernia said that the team was able to get their twelve hits on the night by sticking to their everyday approach. 

“Not trying to do too much, staying loose in the box, staying relaxed, and it worked out,” Iadisernia said. “We’ve been rolling lately. Hitting’s contagious.”

The Mallards’ lead evaporated in the seventh after Iadisernia couldn’t locate a routine pop-up from Exposito with the bases loaded, resulting in a three-run error. Third baseman Jacob Hinderleider claimed the lead for the Rafters later that inning with an RBI double into right. 

Iadisernia said that he couldn’t believe the team’s bad fortune.

“None of us on the field could see it...that was shocking...it was bad luck” Iadisernia said. “It was a tough one, but I’m happy I got to make up for it.”

Iadisernia’s two-run blast into left field off Brayden Bonner completed the comeback. Iadisernia said the experience of his first walk-off was almost incomparable.

“That’s the best feeling,” Iadisernia said. “No other feeling besides I guess winning a championship with a team, but...this is close.”

The Mallards face the Lakeshore Chinooks in a doubleheader starting Wednesday afternoon at Warner Park. First pitches are slated for 12:05 and 6:35 p.m. 

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