Eau Claire entered their series against the Mallards cruising out of the gates with a 5-1 record in their inaugural year in the Northwoods League, but Madison steamrolled the Express Thursday evening en route to an 8-3 win in front of 3,475 fans at Warner Park. The victory completed a two game sweep of the Express and moves Madison ahead of Eau Claire in the Northwoods League South standings.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Mallards (6-2) scored in three straight innings to take a 5-1 lead and chase Eau Claire starter Joe Skinner after four and one third innings. Outfielder Craig Nyborg blasted a three-run home run in the fourth inning, his first of the season, off of the WJJO banner atop the Budweiser/WJJO Solid Rock Rooftop to put the Mallards up by four.
The offense provided by Nyborg proved to be more than enough for Mallards starter J.J. Hollenbeck, who improved to 2-0 on the season. Hollenbeck struck out five across six innings and has yet to surrender an earned run for the Mallards. Mark Moriarty and newcomer Matt Holzhueter held the Express (5-3) to one run over the final three innings.
Kris Rochelle added three hits for the Mallards, going three for three with two runs scored and two knocked in. Ryan Rogowski entered the game late for the Mallards and added an insurance run with an RBI triple in the seventh.
The Mallards continue their six-game home stand tomorrow night, as the Alexandria Beetles come crawling to town for the first time in 2005. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. and tickets are available online at www.mallardsbaseball.com or by phone at 246.4277.