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Even though very few offensive fireworks occurred for the Madison Mallards on Tuesday night in Mankato, the pitchers didn’t allow any offense from the home team as the Mallards won for the third consecutive night, this time 3-0.

With the July 4th win, the Mallards improved to 16-16 on the season. It’s the first time in 18 games that Madison has been at .500. After ten games, the Mallards were tied with Rochester at 7-3. A 1-10 stretch dropped the Mallards from first half contention. Since that bad stretch, Madison is 8-3.

Starter Casey Baron took the mound for Madison and was magnificent. The lefty from the University of Maryland allowed just four hits in seven innings. He did not issue a walk while striking out seven MoonDogs to earn his second win of the year. Allan Donato pitched the last two innings to nail down his first save with the Mallards.

Madison struggled offensively against Mankato starter Steve Salas. Salas, who entered the game with a 2-3 record, but a 1.14 ERA, limited the Mallards to three hits in the first five innings. Madison finally got to him in the sixth. Gary Arndt lined a double to left field. The next batter, Brian Smith, walked. Jordan Comadena’s slow grounder to second advanced the runners to second and third with one out. After Bobby Hubbard struck out, Spencer Steedley lined a single to right field to score both runners. Steedley has 10 RBI in his past six games and has reached base in ten straight.

The Mallards added the third run in the eighth as Wayne Bond hit a solo homerun to left, his second of the season.

Hubbard did record a single in the game which means he has now reached base in every Mallards’ road game.

The shutout was the Mallards fourth this season. Madison is now 8-0 against Mankato the past two summers (4-0 in 2005, 4-0 in 2006) and 15-1 since the beginning of the 2004 season.

Madison travels to Rochester to meet the Honkers for the first time this season. Rochester wrapped up the first half championship in the South Division and will meet the second half winner at the end of the year in the first round of the Northwoods League playoffs. Last summer, Madison clinched the first half title at Mankato with Rochester grabbing the second half championship. You’ll hear Wednesday’s game at 6:50 on Madison’s Fox Sports Radio 100.5 FM.

Published On: July 4th, 2006