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Published On: June 21st, 2006

The Madison Mallards dropped another heartbreaker Wednesday night, 2-1 to Alexandria after Craig Meier (pictured below) turned in one of Mallards better pitching performances of the season.

Meier went six innings, scattering four hits and allowing just one run. He struck out five while walking two.

The Ducks looked like they might get out of the gates early after both Jordan Comadena and Bobby Hubbard reached to open the game but a strikeout and a double play later, the Mallards were back in the dugout without a run.

Unfortunately for Madison, Alexandria did not waist any time getting started. After Caleb Curry reached on an infield single, Jermaine Curtis walked putting runners on first and second. The next batter Mike Metzker laid down a sacrifice bunt that Mallards Catcher Jordan Wolf picked up and fired to third but the throw skipped away from third baseman Mitch Saum and the Beetles had the bases loaded with nobody out. Meier got the next batter, Jonathan Greene, to ground into a double play but scoring on the play was Curry from third and the Beetles had a 1-0 lead.

It would remain a 1-0 game, as Meier battled with Alexandria pitcher Alex Rollin, until the seventh when Spencer Steedley (top left) tied the game with his first home run of the summer. The blast gave the Mallards their first and only hit of the night effectively breaking up a no-hitter for Rollin.

The Beetles would answer, however, in their half of the seventh. Lucas Duda walked to open the inning and Derek VanBuskirk followed with a single off Mallards reliever Mike Creevy. With runners at first and second Matt Rademacher laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving both runners up 90 feet. Barrett Shaft followed with a grounder to second that Mike Rohde picked up and fired home to nail Duda and keep the game knotted at one. Now with two outs, it looked like the Ducks might escape unscathed when Creevy got Curry to ground to second but the ball took a funny hop and skipped away from Rohde allowing VanBuskirk to score and give the Beetles a 2-1 lead.

That would be all the offense the Beetles would need as the Mallards would go down one, two three in the ninth giving the Ducks their ninth loss in ten games.

Rollin?s brilliant performance secured him his first win in four tries for Alexandria. He went seven complete innings, allowing one hit and one run. He struck out 10 while walking only three.

The Mallards return home tomorrow, Thursday, June 22, to take on the St. Cloud River Bats. It will be TLC Laser Eye Centers ?Blind As A Bat Night.? One lucky fan will win a free laser eye surgery and the first 1,000 fans will receive a free pair of Mallards sunglasses. The Zooperstars mascot show, presented by Pepsi, will be providing entertainment all night long.

Great seats are still available. Order yours today by visiting www.mallardsbaseball.com, stopping by the Duck Pond or calling 608.246.4277.