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Mallards Fly Over MoonDogs

It was summertime St. Patty?s day at the Duck pond Saturday night and it came complete with the luck of the Irish as the Mallards defeated the Mankato MoonDogs by a score of 2-1. The win gave the Mallards their first victory of the season, and raised their record to 1-2 on the year. The MoonDogs fell to 0-3.

The Mallards got started early in front of a crowd of 6,888, scoring a run in the first after right fielder Jordan Comadena was hit by a pitch. The next batter, Blaine Rutledge, struck out, but Comadena was able to steal second and later advanced to third on an error by MoonDogs catcher Brandon Davis. After Mike Rohde walked, Ryan Bond grounded into a fielder?s choice, scoring Comadena from third.

It was a pitchers? duel from there on out, as the MoonDogs were able to muster only a single run. In the eighth inning, Mallards pitcher Brett Scarpetta hit the MoonDogs second baseman Chris Rodriguez with a pitch. After Scarpetta got Nate Hanson to pop out to the catcher Jordan Wolf, Rodriquez stole second. Scarpetta then struck out Bobby Verbick, but was replaced by Mike Creevy.

On Creevy?s first pitch, MoonDogs outfielder Tim Smith sent a shot into the left-center gap. Rodriguez scored on the play and Smith came all the way around to touch home plate as well but was called out on an appeal for not touching third base. MoonDogs Manager Jason Nell immediately argued the call and was subsequently thrown out of the game.

The ejection enlivened the Duck Pond crowd, and the energy seemed to transfer to the Mallards themselves.
In the bottom of the eighth, Comadena singled with one out, and reached third when Rutledge followed with a single of his own. After a popup, Comadena came home, and the Mallards took the lead back, 2-1.

That was all the more offense they needed as, in a Derrick Turnbowesque fashion, Creevy mowed through the MoonDogs with three straight strikeouts to earn the save.

More excitement would follow as fireworks lit up the sky beyond the center field wall, and the Irish music of the Kissers entertained fans into the night.

Tomorrow afternoon is game two of the series as the Mallards look for the sweep, and to even their record, when they face the MoonDogs at 3:05 p.m. Tomorrow is St. Mary?s Senior Day as everyone age 60 and over gets free admission. Also, it?s Quench Gum Bat Night for the first 1,000 fans 14 and under. Plus, it?s the Dane County Humane Society Fundraiser. Dogs will be welcome at the Duck Pond and fifty cents from every hot dog sold will go to the DCHS.

Great seats are still available. Reserve yours now by calling the Mallards ticket office at 608.246.4277 or visit www.mallardsbaseball.com for more information.