For Wausau Pilot & Review

MADISON – The Wausau Woodchucks wrapped up a four-game road trip with a hard-fought 9-8 loss to the Madison Mallards on Sunday afternoon.

For the first time since June 2, the Woodchucks were not the first team to score.

The Mallards plated home two runs in the top of the first, giving Wausau pitcher Jacob Haley (South Alabama) some early trouble. The Mallards forced the Chucks into the bullpen early as the Chucks trailed 6-0 after two.

The Woodchucks fought back scoring once in the third. The inning started with a leadoff double by Brayden Smith (Iowa Western Community College) followed by an RBI single by Val Cerna Jr. (Central Methodist). It’s the fifth hit and third run scored in the last two games for Smith. The Chucks still trailed 6-1 heading to the fourth inning.

A two-out rally that started on an infield single from Max Galvin (Oklahoma State) eventually led to bases loaded and a chance for the Chucks to strike. However, they were not able to score and trailed 7-1 in the sixth.

The seventh proved to be another productive one for the Chucks as an RBI single from Jacob Haley scored Val Cerna Jr. to cut the deficit to five. With a tall task still ahead, Wausau brought in Garrett Brogdon (Simpson) to keep the Mallards at bay.

The next inning the Chucks scored another on an RBI single from Logan Kreske (Wichita St.), his first of the season. Smith followed with a line drive down the left field line for a double that scored Max Soliz (Auburn).

Cerna Jr. smoked a pitch off the right-field wall to score Smith and Jake Berkland (Mankato St.). After a four-run inning, the Chucks trailed just 8-6 heading to the ninth inning.

The Chucks made things interesting as they came within one run after Daniel Harden (McLennan Community College) scored on a single by Soliz Jr. It wouldn’t prove to be enough, and the Chucks fall to 10-3 this season after losing three of four on the road trip.

The Woodchucks return home Monday to finish the series with home-and-home series against Madison. It’s the start of two straight at Athletic Park, where the Chucks are undefeated so far this season. Game time is 6:05 p.m.