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On Summertime St. Patty?s Day at the Duck Pond, the Mallards didn?t need the ?Luck of the Irish? on their side for the majority of their game Friday night as Casey Baron pitched 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. But in the end, the Rochester Honkers managed to battle back and steal the first game of the series against the Mallards 3-1 in 13 innings, moving the Honkers into sole possession of first place in the Northwoods League South Division.

The Mallards scored the first run of the game in the second inning when outfielder Ryan Rogowski scored on a wild pitch. For most of the evening Rogowski?s run appeared to be all the Mallards would need to pull out the victory as Baron cruised through seven and two thirds innings. The left-hander from the University of Maryland left the game after throwing seven-plus innings of scoreless, two-hit ball, while striking out six.

But with two outs in the top of the ninth, the Honkers managed to push the tying run across home on an RBI single by Jeremy McCann. The Mallards had a prime opportunity to escape with a victory in the bottom of the ninth, but Kyle Murphy was thrown out on a close play at home. Words were exchanged between Murphy and Rochester catcher Will Craig which caused the benches to clear.

Rochester finally broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the 13th inning when Kris Rochelle misplayed a base hit to left field. The error by Rochelle allowed Efren Navarro and Dan Lyons to come around to score and gave the Honkers their first lead of the ball game at 3-1.

Brad Clipp shut the door on the Mallards in the 13th, recording his fourth save of the season and moving Rochester a game ahead of the Mallards in the Northwoods League South Standings.

The Mallards and Honkers square off Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in the series finale. Tickets can be purchased at www.mallardsbaseball or by calling (608) 246-4277.

Published On: June 24th, 2005