For the second night in a row, the Mallards fell just short in Eau Claire as they were downed 2-0 by the Express at Carson Park. The 7-5 Mallards are now tied for second place in the Northwoods League South Division with the Express.
Madison hit six times, including a Mike Rohde (pictured below) double, against Eau Claire starter Adam Ferrell, but the Ducks were simply unable to get their runners home. Two Express double plays didn?t help the cause, either.
The Express amassed 11 hits and threatened all night. The Mallards kept the train from leaving the station, however, until the sixth inning, when the Express scored the only two runs of the game.
A fine Mallards defensive performance allowed them to hold the Express to two runs in the face of allowing runners in every Express inning except the final, eighth one. Despite fielding and throwing woes earlier in the season, the Ducks got a hold of their defensive skills in this game as they gave up no errors.
Eryk McConnell took the mound for the Mallards and pitched the first six innings, striking out four and walking two while allowing nine hits and two earned runs. He was tabbed with the loss, and now has a 0-1 record after his first start and appearance with the Mallards.
The last two defensive innings for the Mallards were pitched by just-signed Jeff Wilkerson. The Dartmouth pitcher from Walnut Creek, Cali., who just finished his junior year, struck out one and walked none while giving up two hits and no runs.
Express starter Ferrell allowed all of the six Mallards hits as he pitched eight innings, striking out four, walking one and giving up no runs.
Nick Fellman picked up the Eau Claire save, his fourth of the season, as he set down the Mallards in order by way of one strikeout.
The Mallards travel to Wausau today, June 14, 2006, to take on the Wisconsin Woodchucks at 6:35 p.m.
Hear all the action live on Madison?s Fox Sports Radio, over the airwaves at 100.5 FM, or online at www.mallardsbaseball.com or www.foxsportsmadison.com.
The Mallards return to the Duck Pond on June 16 to face the Duluth Huskies on the Neckerman Agency Madison Blues Turn-Back-the-Clock-Night. The Mallards will be sporting replica 1940s style Madison Blues uniforms and the first 1,000 fans will receive a free replica Blues hat. Live Blues music, presented by Madison Magazine, will take place pre- and post-game with Westside Andy and the Mel Ford Band. Stick around after the game for the human cannonball David ?The Bullet? Smith.
Great seats are still available. Visit www.mallardsbaseball.com, call 608.246.4277 or stop by the Duck Pond for tickets or more information.