Mallards clinch playoff berth with win over Fond du Lac

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Madison Mallards first baseman Tyler Dean [Madison Mallards/Northwoods League photo]

The Madison Mallards rode their first baseman Tyler Dean’s four RBIs for an 11-5 victory Saturday night at Warner Park that launched them into the Northwoods League playoffs.

Dean credited the Mallards’ toughness as being the source for the unit’s run into the playoffs.

“This team has a grit to it,” Dean said. “We’re just going to fight to the end.”

Dean tied the game at 2-2 in the first with a run-scoring walk on a full count. Later on, with the Mallards leading 7-5 in the fifth, he cleared the bases with a three-RBI double rocketed into right center field off Dock Spiders reliever Porter Hardcastle to give Madison a five-run lead. Dean said he entered that bases-loaded situation seeking a high pitch.

“I...told myself before that at-bat that I was...just trying to get lower than the pitcher because I was looking for something up,” Dean said. “[I’m trying to] raise my sights so I can drive the baseball.”

Dean said that this team’s talented offense is what distinguishes it from the other teams in the upcoming postseason.

“[We’re] an absolute force to be reckoned with on the hitting side,” Dean said. “There’s no easy out...we can all put the ball out of the ballpark anytime.” 

The Mallards will begin the best of three Great Lakes West Divisional Series Sunday afternoon against the Dock Spiders at Warner Park. First pitch is slated for 3:05 p.m.

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