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Overtime Pays Off for Ducks

If the players on the Madison Mallards were paid, they?d probably wish they would be paid overtime after the week they?ve endured. Unfortunately, they aren?t paid (something about NCAA regulations). Still, they played four extra inning games in six days, culminating in Saturday night?s 2-1 victory over Eau Claire in 11 innings.

For both teams, pitching was the name of the game. In the latest matchup that could be called ?The Pitching Duel of the Year,? Madison?s Adam Mills faced Eau Claire All-Star Jordan Zimmerman. Mills pitched 10 scoreless innings Sunday against the South Division leaders, Rochester and was nearly as sharp Saturday. Mills allowed one unearned run in eight innings. He walked two batters and also hit two while giving up three hits. He finished the night with four strikeouts.

Zimmerman gave up one earned run in nine innings. That run came in the first inning as Mike Rohde knocked in Jordan Comadena with a two-out double.

The Express tied the score against Mills as Kevin James knocked in Kraig Binick with a single to center field.

Madison threatened to end the game in the 10th as the Mallards loaded the bases against reliever Adam Ferrell. Danny Dressman popped out, though, and Ryan Bond struck out to end the frame.

Madison finally ended the contest, which lasted 3:08, in the 11th. Mike Rohde walked and stole second. Tommy Lentz?s sacrifice bunt moved Rohde to third. The next batter, Randy Molina, was intentionally walked, bringing up Gary Arndt (pictured below). Arndt promptly singled past a diving Eau Claire third baseman into left field to plate Rohde and give the Mallards a 2-1 win.

Allan Donato earned the win for the Mallards, his first of the summer, with an inning-and-a-third of scoreless relief. He was the third pitcher on the evening for Madison after Mills and Adam Tollefson. Ferrell was charged with his second loss of the season.

The same two teams meet Sunday night at Warner Park. The Mallards will send Casey Baron to the mound and the Express will counter with Tim Huber. First pitch Sunday night is at 6:05 p.m.

After the game, fans were entertained by the Post-game Fireworks Show presented by LifeStyle Staffing. Also, Neil Diamond cover band Lightning and Thunder played before and after the game.

Sunday is Wiffle Ball Night presented by The Shoe Box and Rookies. The first 1,000 kids 14 and under will receive a free wiffle ball set. It?s also a Famous Footwear ?Kids Eat Free Sunday.? All kids, 14 and under, will get a free hot dog, soda and bag of chips with a full-priced ticket. Seniors can get in for half price every Sunday thanks to St. Mary?s.