For Wausau Pilot & Review

WAUSAU – The Wausau Woodchucks established dominance early in the first inning and held tight to earn an 8-6 victory over the Madison Mallards on Friday at Athletic Park, earning their first win of the second half.

The Chucks (1-2 second half record, 18-21 overall) got off to a blazing start in the bottom of the first inning, with Brent Widder (Evansville) and Hunter Dorraugh (San Jose State) each hitting singles to get on base, followed by Mark Shallenberger (Evansville) hammering a deep triple to right field to drive in the first two runs of the game. Zach Levenson (Miami) launched a home run to left field, plating two more runs for the Woodchucks to start the game off being four runs over the Mallards.

The Mallards (1-2 second half) attempted to get something going in the top of the second by scoring one run, but had the door slammed in their face by Chucks pitcher Dawson Lane (Florida Southern) and some strong fielding. Widder and Dorraugh both hit singles again in the bottom of the inning, setting the scene for Shallenberger to blast a home run over center field and bring in three more runs for the Chucks, giving them a commanding 7-1 lead over the Mallards.

Lane held the Mallards to only two hits through four innings before being relieved by Nick Marshall (West Texas A&M) during the fifth. The Mallards scored two runs in the fifth to try to threaten Woodchucks’ lead, and added another in the top of the sixth inning.

Ben Abernathy (West Virginia) scored the Woodchucks’ eighth run on a bases loaded walk by Levenson in the bottom of the sixth inning, regaining the distance on their lead over the Mallards.

Madison scored two more in the seventh inning, but the Mallards went quietly into the night with a 1-2-3 inning to end the game in the ninth.

The Woodchucks will return to Athletic Park on Saturday for a 6:05 p.m. to take on the Madison Mallards again. The game is another Festival Foods Family Four Pack Night 0 $45 (plus tax) includes four tickets to the game, four brats, and four sodas. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 715-845-5055.