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Mallards and Navs Kick Off Playoffs with Thriller at Lee

By DC Wood, 07/11/19, 9:30PM EDT


Playoff baseball was in full effect as the first game of the first series came down to the wire.  Pitchers dominated and every base runner mattered.

The Navigators got on the board against the Mallards' ace O'Donnell early -  scoring 1 run in the 2nd inning after a double by Matt Chetti plated the leadoff walk by John Helms.

Both offenses were held largely in check throughout the next 5 innings as 0's frequented to score box.

It was the 7th inning when the Mallards were finally able to muster some offense, after what had been a stellar first 6 innings by Navs starter Nick Meyers. After a leadoff walk and a single to start the inning, the Mallards had two runners in scoring position for Kyle Kirsch, who earned two RBIs on a timely single up the middle.

With the Mallards' lead at 1 in the top of the 8th with 2 outs, an error by the shortstop enabled the Navigators to tie the game.

Time was running out as the Mallards batted in the bottom of the 8th. A quick start to the inning got two runners on base - a Brian Witkowski double followed by a single from Mac Gill put runners on first and second. Both runners were able to advance into scoring position after a pass ball. With 0 outs and runners in scoring position, scoring seemed probable until the Navs pitcher managed to get back to back strikeouts, leaving the Mallards with one last opportunity to capture the lead. Thanks to Colin 'Ice in his Veins' McMahon, the Mallards were able to score Brian Witkowski on a hard single through the 5-6 hole.

One run was all Mallard's pitcher Dan O'Donnell needed to close the game, as he went out in the top of the 9th retiring three straight batters on two strikeouts and a pop up to second base to seal the first win of the series for he Mallards. The Mallards will face off against the Navigators on Saturday in Game 2 of the 3 game series.