Published On: July 3rd, 2005

The Mallards (20-11) are starting to develop a few new habits, habits the Mallards coaching staff are more than pleased with as the first half of the 2005 Northwoods League season winds down.

For the fourth night in a row the Mallards scored in their first at-bat, putting up a two spot in the bottom of the first inning, en route to a 6-0 victory over the Brainerd Blue Thunder (13-16). The Mallards moved into sole possession of first place over idle Rochester with the win, their fifth straight victory dating back to June 29.

J.J Hollenbeck (6-0) was sensational on the mound for the Mallards, throwing six innings of scoreless ball on the way to his Northwoods League leading sixth victory. The right-hander from Virginia Military Institute allowed just three hits while striking out seven.

Ryan Bond was given a rare start at shortstop and made the most of the opportunity, going two-for-four and collecting three of the Mallards RBI. Bond contributed an RBI double in the first inning and added a two-out two-RBI single in the fifth.

Randy Molina supplied Madison?s only other RBIs, breaking the scoreless tie in the first with a RBI single that scored Kelly Sweppenhiser as well as walking with the bases loaded in the fifth.

The Mallards and Blue Thunder conclude their two-game series Monday at 5:05 p.m., the last home game until July 22. Madison has just three games remaining in the first half of the season, Monday?s contest against Brainerd, and two games at Mankato. The second-place Rochester Honkers are a half-game back of the Mallards and have two games left against both Eau Claire and Wisconsin.

Great seats are still available for Monday?s game and can be purchased at or by calling (608) 246-4277.

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