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After struggling out of the gates with a 1-5 record during a six-game road trip to start the season, the Mallards were up to the task Wednesday night, defeating the visiting Mankato Moondogs, 4-1. Being the first home game of the year, the Mallards were greeted by 5,141 boisterous fans at the Duck Pond, many arriving over an hour before the first pitch. The Mallards atoned for their inability to get many hits or runs so far this season, scoring their four runs on 9 hits. The defense played better ball as well, allowing one error after giving up five just two games ago.

Mallards Manager Darrell Handelsman was ejected for the second time this season, disputing a call after Mallards shortstop Abe Aguirre appeared to foul a ball off his foot, but the play was called fair, and Aguirre was consequently thrown out while still standing in the batter?s box. Andy Sigerich (1-0), the imposing 6?9? right-hander from the University of Illinois, pitched seven and two-thirds innings for the Mallards to pick up the win. Sigerich struck out four, while giving up six hits and no earned runs.

Jeff Bieker was the first Mallard to go deep this season, launching a second inning offering off MoonDogs starting pitcher Will Kraut to right center field. Bieker also had two doubles, going three for four on the night. Catcher John Martin gave the Mallards the lead in the seventh inning, with a clutch two out, two run single. Mallards right fielder Jay Johnson continued his hot hitting, going three for four from the plate.

The Mallards (2-5) and MoonDogs (1-6) square off again tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Warner Park, as the Mallards look to duplicate their winning performance during a five-game home stand. Tickets are currently available at the Mallards office still located at 2920 N. Sherman Ave., and online at

Published On: June 9th, 2004