Riggins, Sabourin lead Mallards in win

first_imgJerrud Sabourin (18) hit a solo home run in the sixth inning Saturday night, the second of back-to-back blasts for the Mallards in the frame.[/media-credit]As a part of the Mallards’ Summertime St. Patty’s Night, the back of Harold Riggins’ jersey read: “O’ There It Goes.” Jerrud Sabourin’s: “Hoosier Daddy.”Fittingly, the two hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth. Riggins crushed a two-run blast over the scoreboard in left to break a 3-3 tie, and Sabourin followed with a solo shot to right on the first pitch thrown by St. Cloud reliever Drew Palen.The Mallards would hang on for a 6-4 victory over the St. Cloud River Bats, their seventh straight win overall and third consecutive series sweep at home.According to Riggins his success in big moments comes from treating them just the same as any other at-bat.“I really don’t look at them as big moments,” Riggins said. “I just play the game and do whatever I can to try to win the game for my team. I’ve just been able to take advantage of pitchers’ mistakes lately.”Joe Yermal earned the win for the Mallards despite pitching just 0.2 innings in relief.St. Cloud starter Blake Schwartz took the loss for the River Bats, pitching 5.1 innings while allowing five runs on four hits in the game. It was a disappointing finish to an outing that started well for the freshman from Mankato.Schwartz retired the first nine Mallards he faced before walking Brandon Wikoff to lead off the fourth inning. Joe De Pinto followed Wikoff with a single, giving Adam McClain a chance to put the Mallards on the board.McClain did just that, continuing his hot hitting of late with a two-run double to left to make it 2-0 in favor of Madison. According to manager C.J. Thieleke, getting Wikoff on with a walk in the fourth made the difference for the Mallards.“We just made an emphasis to try to get a guy on base to take some of his focus off the hitter,” Thieleke said. “Schwartz’s stuff wasn’t as good out of the stretch. He had good life on his pitches when he was in the windup, but he didn’t get the same stuff when he was pitching out of the stretch.”McClain would later score on a sacrifice fly to left by Riggins, giving the Mallards a 3-0 lead.Mallards starter Matt Morgan was equally impressive early, holding the River Bats hitless through 4.2 innings before giving up a pair of singles in the fifth. He escaped the inning unscathed, but the sixth inning was a different story.St. Cloud finally broke through with a pair of runs in the inning on Zac Richard’s double down the line in right. After walking the next batter, Morgan was lifted from the game in favor of Yermal, who escaped after allowing just one more runner to cross the plate in the inning on an infield single.Morgan allowed three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings pitched while striking out six.“My curveball was real effective early,” Morgan said. “I was using it as an out pitch and eventually started throwing it every time I could get it across the plate. In the sixth inning, it wasn’t as effective. I was leaving it up in the zone and not getting ahead, which meant I had to throw my fastball more over the middle of the plate.”The sophomore from Purdue got a lot of help up the middle defensively, especially from shortstop Brandon Wikoff.Madison turned three double plays in the game, the first two of which ended the first and second innings after Morgan had walked a batter in each frame.Wikoff was particularly impressive in the third inning when he snagged a would-be single up the middle off the bat of Travis Meiners, spun around and fired to first to end the inning.“It’s unbelievable; it’s something that every pitcher wants to have,” Morgan said of the defense up the middle. “I couldn’t dream of having a better defense than that. The balls that I know are definite base hits, you know, they take them away, and then sometimes, they will turn two on them.”Matt Jansen followed Yermal, striking out a pair in a scoreless and hitless seventh. After the River Bats scored another run in the eighth off reliever Kevin Cahill, lefty Kyle Heim pitched a scoreless ninth for the save, securing the Mallards’ eighth win of the season.Madison improves to 8-2 win the win while St. Cloud falls to 3-7 on the season. The Mallards have Sunday off before traveling to Battle Creek in a matchup of two of the best teams in the South Division.last_img

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