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Published On: August 6th, 2006

The Madison Mallard used one big inning Sunday night to knock off the Wisconsin Woodchucks at the Duck Pond, 5-3. The win allows the Ducks to grab a slight advantage over La Crosse in the race for the playoffs.

Madison erupted in the bottom of the fifth for five runs against Woodchucks starter Trey Garcia. All of the runs scored were with two outs. With one out, Gary Arndt reached on an error by the Wisconsin shortstop, Ryan Wilkes. He moved to second on a single by Mitch Saum. A grounder by Danny Dressman forced Saum at second but allowed Arndt to move up to third base. Jordan Wolf followed with a run-scoring single to tie the game at one. Mike Rohde followed with another single to score Dressman. Jordan Comadena?s double cleared the bases and made the score 4-1. A wild pitch let Comadena (pictured below) advance to third. Bobby Hubbard was then hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners for Randy Molina. The Ducks first baseman lined a single which scored Comadena and made the score 5-1.

Wisconsin had scored first in the fourth inning and added two more in the eighth. All three runs were charged to Madison starter Brian Smith. Smith (top left) was very sharp in 7.2 innings. He allowed six hits and a walk while striking out five. Reliever Adam Tollefson recorded the final out of the eighth inning and Mike Creevy pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save of the season. He struck out Wisconsin?s Wilkes to end the game.

The Mallards are one-half game ahead of LaCrosse for the second playoff spot in the Northwoods League?s South Division. LaCrosse won the first game at St. Cloud in a day-night doubleheader but lost the second. Because the Rochester Honkers won the South Division first-half title and are on pace to win the second-half title, the second playoff spot in that division will go to the team with the next best overall season record. If both La Crosse and Madison finish with the same season record, the playoff spot will go to the team with the best head-to-head record. From there the tiebreaker is awarded to the team with the best intradivision record and finally a coin flip is used.

During the pregame, Madison fans set the world record for the largest first pitch, sponsored by American Family Insurance. Madison had set the record last summer, only to be surpassed in September by fans at a Brevard County Manatees game in September 2005. Sunday, 5,127 fans threw out a first pitch at Warner Park, passing the 4,218 that tossed one at the Manatees game last year. The Mallards also recorded their second largest crowd in team history, drawing 7,496 fans to the Duck Pond.

All fans also received a team poster courtesy of Verlo Mattress Factory Store.

The Mallards and Woodchucks wrap up the season series with a game at Athletic Park in Wausau, Wis., Monday night. The Ducks will send Tom Stilson to the hill against Wisconsin?s Freddie Hampe. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:20 p.m. with the first pitch at 6:35 p.m. on Madison?s Fox Sports Radio 100.5 FM.

Madison returns home Tuesday to face the Waterloo Bucks. It?s Luedtke, Storm and Mackey Chiropractic Madison Senators Turn-Back-the-Clock night, presented by Madison Magazine. The Mallards will wear replica Senators uniforms. The Madison Senators played in Madison from 1907-1914. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free replica Senators hat.

The last regular season home game is Wednesday night against Waterloo. It?s Quench Gum Fan Appreciation Night. There will be great giveaways all night long.

Great tickets remain for both games. To purchase tickets, stop by the ticket office at Warner Park, call 608.246.4277 or go online to www.mallardsbaseball.com.