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Published On: July 17th, 2006

It was an overall great week for the Madison Mallards from Monday, July 10, thru Sunday, July 16. In that time, the Ducks posted a 3-1 record, raising their overall record to 5-2 and keeping the team just two games behind division leader Rochester.

The week opened with the Mallards taking on the Waterloo Bucks in game two of a two-game series. The Ducks had clipped the Bucks a night earlier and were looking for a sweep when left hander Casey Baron took the hill. Baron didn?t disappoint, delivering 6.2 shutout innings and allowing just four hits. He also struck out a pair. The Mallards offense was equally impressive, posting eight runs, five in the eighth inning, en route to an 8-0 beating of Waterloo. Ryan Bond and Jordan Comadena led the charge. Bond was 3 for 3 with 2 RBI and a run scored while Comadena was 2 for 5 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Tommy Lentz also went 2 for 4 in the game.

The first 1,000 fans 14 and under received not only a Mallards victory but also a Maynard G. Mallard bobblehead upon arrival. The limited edition bobblehead is a great addition to any collection.

Following the Mallards defeat of Waterloo, five of the Ducks packed their bags and headed for the All-Star game in LaCrosse. The Home Run Derby took place on Tuesday evening with the game being played on Wednesday night. Shortstop Ryan Bond, right-handed pitcher Mike Creevy, right-handed pitcher Brian Smith and outfielders Jordan Comadena and Bobby Hubbard all participated in the game for the South Division All-Stars.

After another day off on Thursday, the Mallards were back in town for a Friday night affair with the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The Chucks were off to a rocky start at 0-4 and the Mallards had plans to keep that poor start going. They succeeded in game one, stomping the men from Wausau by a score of 9-2. Mallards starter Eryk McConnell ran into some trouble in the second inning when the Chucks posted a pair of runs, but McConnell was lights out from there on. He worked seven complete innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He also struck out two. The Mallards lumber was in full force as well, posting a two spot in the second, four more in the sixth and two in the seventh as the Ducks handed the Chucks their fifth straight loss. Bobby Hubbard and Jordan Wolf led the way. Hubbard was 2 for 3 with three RBI and Wolf was 2 for 2 with two RBI, three runs scored and a home run.

The Mallards literally didn?t look like the same team on that Friday night. In fact, they looked a lot more like a team that used to call Madison home in the 80s and early 90s. The Ducks took the field sporting authentic Madison Muskies jerseys on Dr. Jay Hazen Dentistry for Madison Muskies Turn-Back-the-Clock-Night, presented by Madison Magazine. The first 1,000 fans were outfitted in free Muskies mesh caps, as well, making even the crowd look authentic. In attendance to see the ?Muskies? defeat the Woodchucks were 5,792 fans.

A night later the Ducks were back to their regular uniforms, but there was nothing regular about their play on the field. The team traveled to Wausau for the second game of a home and home series with the Woodchucks, defeating them again by a score of 5-1.The win extended the Mallards winning streak to four. Jake Sullivan battled through five innings, allowing just a single run on six hits. He picked up his third win of the season after reliever Stephen Dodson tossed three shutout innings and the All-Star Smith shut things down in the ninth. The offensive attack was extremely balanced with all six of the Mallards hits coming from different players.

After completing the sweep of Wisconsin, the team traveled back home to begin a series with first-place Rochester.

The Mallards entered the contest just one game behind the Division leaders and a win would have catapulted them into a first-place tie with the Geese. Unfortunately, the Ducks fell 1-0 in what turned out to be one of the best pitching match-ups of the season. Mallards starter Adam Mills worked an astonishing 10 shutout innings, allowing only three hits. In that time, he struck out nine and walked only one. Fortunately for the Honkers, left-hander Matt Reynolds was equal to the task, working nine shutout innings of his own. He allowed four hits while striking out three and walking one.

Both offenses continued to struggle until the Honkers finally broke through in the top of the thirteenth. Honkers left fielder Matt Fahey singled and moved to second on a groundout by Jeff Engel. Third baseman Jason White then singled, drawing a throw to the plate by Danny Dressman. The throw reached the plate at nearly the same time as the runner, Fahey, but catcher Kris Rochelle was unable to hang on to the ball, giving Rochester the 1-0 lead.

Although the Mallards fell, it was still Ducks Unlimited Night as well as Schoep?s Ice Cream Mini Batting Helmet Night. The Mallards were outfitted in camouflage uniforms (pictured top-left), which were auctioned off to support Ducks Unlimited after the game, and the first 500 fans received duck calls courtesy of Ducks Unlimited. The first 1,000 fans 14 and under received a mini batting helmet courtesy of Schoep?s Ice Cream.