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Published On: June 7th, 2006

The Madison Mallards received one of the great spot starts in the team’s six year history Wednesday night, helping the team climb over .500 for the first time this season after a 7-5 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks.

Madison Area Technical College pitcher Craig Meier received a call the night before, inquiring about his availability for Wednesday. The Mallards didn’t need just-in-case bullpen help ? Madison needed a starter for Wednesday’s game. Meier, a three-sport star in high school at Madison Edgewood, was up to the task.

Meier went five innings for the Mallards, striking out two while allowing three hits and four walks. He allowed two runs, one earned, in his Mallards debut. The pitcher signed a 10-day contract with the team earlier in the day.

Meier received run support in the second inning. With two outs, Brian Smith, Jordan Wolf and Bobby Hubbard all singled off Wisconsin starter Craig Brookes. Hubbard’s single scored Smith from second to give the Mallards a 1-0 lead.

Madison scored twice in the fourth. Jordan Comadena stroked a one-out triple. Smith followed with a roller to the pitcher that scored Comadena. After Wolf reached on an error by right fielder Billy Froehlich, Hubbard doubled him in to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Mallards.

The Woodchucks started to crawl back in the fifth against Meier. Wisconsin second baseman Andy Gerhartz was hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt, Joe Evans walked. On a double steal, Mallards’ catcher Wolf threw to third, but the ball went into left field which allowed Gerhartz to score and Evans to move to third. Scotty Madsen’s grounder to second scored Evans to cut the Mallards lead to 3-2.

Madison reclaimed the two-run lead in the bottom of the fifth as Dan Melvin led off the inning with a double. With one out, Ryan Bond’s single put runners at the corners. Ryan Basham followed with a RBI single, scoring Melvin. After Bond was thrown out trying to steal third, Comadena knocked Basham in from second with a single to make the score 5-2.

Lefty Scott Reese started the sixth inning on the mound for Madison. After back-to-back singles to start the frame, a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with one out. Gerhartz singled to score both runners making the score 5-4 in favor of the Mallards.

Madison got those two runs back again in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Bond walked. Basham followed with another walk. After a wild pitch put runners at second and third, Comadena walked. Joe Oliver was sent to the plate to pinch-hit for Brian Smith and promptly singled, scoring Bond and Basham.

Wisconsin added another run in the eighth. Rich Prall doubled and moved to third on a groundout. Prall then scored on a sacrifice fly to left to make the score 7-5 in favor of Madison. That was all the scoring for the evening.

Meier earned the win, his first as a Mallard. Brookes took the loss for Wisconsin. Madison’s Mike Creevy pitched the ninth and earned his first save.

With the win, the Mallards are 4-3. It’s the first time Madison has been above .500 in 2006.

The Mallards entertain the Woodchucks again Thursday at the Duck Pond. First pitch is at 7:05. Visit, call the Mallards at 608.246.4277 or stop by the Duck Pond ticket office for tickets and information.