Spotty pitching drowned out the Madison Mallards’ mid-game surge Monday night in a 13-4 home loss to the Traverse City Pit Spitters.
Starting pitcher Ike Buxton looked to improve his 7.20 ERA entering the game, but the this outing had something much worse in mind for him in the first. Pit Spitters center fielder Trey Truitt III bookended a half inning that spelled out five runs for his squad off of four hits, two errors, and one walk. After a two-out RBI single from Traverse City first baseman Jake Arnold in the second,the Mallards faced an early 6-0 deficit and Buxton saw his ERA balloon to 10.29. Buxton said he felt like he let his team down.
After Pit Spitters catcher Adam Proctor smoked a double into right-center field to make it 7-0 in the fourth, the Mallards surged in the bottom half of the inning. RBI doubles by right fielder Matthew Scannell and second baseman Jacob Slonim, an RBI triple by shortstop Cam Frederick, and an RBI groundout by center fielder Cam Cratic off of Traverse City starter Jeremy Neff breathed new life into the seemingly bygone Mallards and cut the score to 7-4.
The Pit Spitters quickly shattered the Mallards’ hopes of a comeback. In the top of the sixth, right fielder Colin Summerhill smacked a triple off reliever Christian Horner into deep center field over the head of Cratic to muscle Traverse City ahead 9-4. A wild pitch later in the inning that skipped past Madison catcher Jacob Campbell pumped up the score to 10-4.
Mallards reliever Sam Beuerlein found the fruits of his labor to be just as sour in the top of the ninth. RBI singles from third baseman Christian Faust and Proctor and the familiar agony of a wild pitch ultimately entombed the Mallards 13-4.
Madison stranded 10 runners in the loss.