The new-look Arlington Mallards picked up a gritty 3-1 win on the road over the formidable Senators on Thursday, employing a brand new approach on the mound to help guide them to victory. The Mallards, who were last in the league in 2018 in pitchers used per game (1.45 PPG) utilized a deep bullpen composed of familiar faces and savvy veterans, as well as a few newcomers who were welcomed with open arms, to keep the opposition guessing at the plate.
Five different Ducks pitchers toed the rubber, all of whom threw at least one inning but none of whom exceeded 4 full innings, with each pitcher picking up at least one strikeout (12 total) while surrendering only 2 hits and walking 4, giving up one earned run in the ninth.
Offensively, the Mallards were largely kept off balance by the Senators’ Ray Hart who went the distance, utilizing an off-speed laden approach on the mound. He kept Mallards hitters at bay until the 6th, when Kyle Kirsch led off the inning with a double and scored after the next batter, Cam Kostyack, knocked a textbook scrappy Texas-leaguer into right center. Hart managed to escape one or two jams throughout the rest of the game, allowing 11 total baserunners on 8 hits and 3 walks, but he tended to work quickly and efficiently, striking out 8, with his teammates playing solid defense behind him. In the top of the 9th, the Mallards managed to pick up some insurance – Dane “Baseball Name” Pepper led off the inning with a single, and scored after Tyler McCarthy doubled down the left field line. Brian Witkowski followed McCarthy’s AB with a double of his own, with T-Mac coming in to score. These insurance runs were paramount, as the Senators managed to compromise the shutout in the 9th, plating Gene Kassman as the result of a hard hit ball down the first base line by Peter Marratto. With two outs in the ninth and a runner on second, Mallards pitcher Brady Adam recorded his third strikeout of the inning and sealed the Mallard’s first win of the season.
The Senators seek their first win of the season this Saturday at 12pm at Cosca vs the defending champion Barons, and the Mallards play next in a DH vs the Thundercats Sunday 9am at West Potomac.