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Mallards Win Game One, Assure at Least One more Home Game

With temperatures below 60 degrees and howling wins out of the North, Tuesday night?s Northwoods League Divisional playoff game between the La Crosse Loggers and Madison Mallards had the feeling of an October classic in mid-August. Billy Phillips pitched seven superlative innings, giving up just one run while striking out eight Loggers, as the Mallards cruised to a 5-1 win over La Crosse in game one of the best-of-three Divisional Championship Series at Warner Park. The victory guarantees at least one more post-season home game at Warner Park, depending on how Madison fares tomorrow night in La Crosse. The Mallards can take the series with a win, and would then host the winner of the St. Cloud, Duluth series on Saturday, August 14 for game two of the Northwoods League Championship Series. If the Mallards lose, they will play La Crosse Thursday in Madison for the deciding game three of the Divisional Championship Series.

Both teams had to deal with cold, blustery conditions all night, but that did not seem to have any effect on either team. However, a defensive miscue by Loggers shortstop Mike Sirianni got the Mallards started in the third inning, after both teams struggled to get much going offensively early on. The first error occurred off the bat of John Martin, who reached second base on the play. Abe Aguirre squirted a single between second and third to score Martin and give Madison a 1-0 lead. The following batter, Greg Thomson launched one to left-center for an RBI triple bringing home Aguirre. Thomson later scored on another Sirianni error. After La Crosse made things 3-1 with a fifth inning run, Doug Beck put things out of reach for the Mallards with a two-out, two-run double off the top of the fence in center field putting the Mallards on top 5-1. Zach Peterson and Matt Petty each pitched an inning of scoreless relief for the Ducks, each giving up two hits and Peterson striking out the side and Petty fanning one.

The Ducks will try to wrap up the Divisional series tomorrow night in La Crosse at 7:05 PM as All-Star pitcher Ricky Bauer will take on the Loggers? Adam Rogers. With a victory tomorrow night the Ducks would play again Friday in either Duluth or St. Cloud and play their next home game Saturday at 7:05 PM. If the Mallards were to lose tomorrow game three would take place Thursday night at Warner Park at 7:05 PM. Tickets for the next Mallards home game will go on sale online immediately following tomorrow night?s game in La Crosse, tickets will be available at www.mallardsbaseball.com. Reserved seating is seven dollars for playoff tickets, reserved bleachers are six dollars and fifty cents and general admission seats are six dollars. For complete ticket information please call the ticket office at 608-246-4277.