Mallards open season with 7-0 win; Welcome new features to Duck Pond

Baseball is back in Madison, and over 6,000 fans made their way to the Duck Pond for the Madison Mallards opening day.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 10:03 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Baseball is back in Madison, and over 6,000 fans made their way to the Duck Pond for the Madison Mallards opening day.

The Mallards spent the offseason working on several different projects, that fans can now take advantage of this season.

In addition to renovated bathrooms, the Mallards have an entirely new concession space behind home plate, featuring three new stands offering donuts, BBQ and various fried foods including a duck boot filled with fries, boneless chicken wings and cheese curds.

Behind the third baseline, the Mallards have converted a room into a sensory space for people with mental health disorders, such as autism. People can go into the room if the sights and sounds of the baseball game get to be too overwhelming.

Madison Mallard’s General Manager Samantha Rubin says this space is important because it reinforces the idea that anyone can be part of the baseball experience.

“We want to be a family environment where anyone and everyone can come to a Mallard’s game,” Rubin said. “By creating this space, that helps us get there.”

There’s also a new seating section in center field that groups can rent out and watch the game, and have food provided. Plus the 608 section where tickets are $6.08.

While there’s a lot to enjoy off the field, the on-field action was just as good. The Mallards started their season with a 7-0 shutout over the Wausau Woodchucks. In his first start in the Northwoods League Derek Salata threw five hitless innings with four strikeouts. The Illinois State right hander allowed just three baserunners (one error and two walks).

After taking a 3-0 lead Madison added four runs worth of insurance in the 7th and 8th innings behind RBI swings from Owen Jackson, Canyon Brown, and Jackson Chatterton. Davis Hamilton scored on a double-play ball with the bases loaded in the 8th.

The team hits the road for their game tomorrow in Wausau to complete the home-and-home season opening series with the Woodchucks at Athletic Park. Gametime is set for 6:05 P.M. with left hander Ryan Stefiuk getting the ball for Madison.

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