The Madison Mallards (37-24) didn’t lead until the ninth inning. With a runner on base and no one out, EJ Ranel (Lenoir-Rhyne) stepped into the box and crushed his fifth home run of the season to put the Mallards on top 4-3, propelling them to a series-opening victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks (28-33).
In the top of the ninth, Timo Schau (Southern Wesleyan) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Then, Ranel launched a no-doubt home run to put the Mallards on top for the first time in the contest.
Leon Davidson (North Carolina A&T) earned the win in relief for the Mallards after a stellar eighth inning on the mound. Theo Denlinger (Bradley) locked up his 10th save of the year with a perfect ninth.
Micheal Novak (Spring Hill College) donned the loss for the ‘Chucks after allowing the home run to Ranel.
The Mallards and Woodchucks will close out their series in Madison on Wednesday. First pitch at the Duck Pond is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and it will be Harry Potter Night at Warner Park.