The Mallards are back at the Duck Pond tonight to begin a two-game set with the Battle Creek Bombers. Madison split a two-game series with Waterloo after a 9-6 victory Monday night. The Mallards have won two of their last three games, but have also lost four of their last six. In each of those four losses, Madison lost by a deficit of two runs or less.
Battle Creek comes into tonight’s game not fairing much better, as the Bombers have lost four-straight games. They were swept in back-to-back two-game series with Mankato and Eau Claire.
Trevor Feeney takes the mound for the Mallards tonight with a 2-1 record and sits second in the Northwoods League with a 0.47 ERA, along with 13 strikeouts. In his previous start for the Mallards, Feeney picked up his first loss of the season in a 4-2 game against the Green Bay Bullfrogs, and of the three runs that were scored off of him, only one was earned.
Battle Creek left-hander Tommy Elrod makes his second start of the season tonight. Elrod is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA, and in his only start of the season against Rochester, Elrod went five innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and striking out six.
On the offensive side of things, Neil Medchill has had the hot bat for the Mallards. Medchill recently cracked the top 10 in hitting for the NWL with a .321 batting average. In his last five games, Medchill has hit .400 (6-15) with three runs scored and two RBIs, and in his last 10 ballgames, has hit .294 (10-34) with six runs scored and three RBIs. Catcher Eric Nielsen has been consistent at the plate for Madison as well, going 3-for-9 (.333) with two runs scored in his last five games.
For the Bombers, shortstop Rafael Lopez is hitting .299 and is leading Battle Creek in several offensive categories, including hits (20), home runs (2) and runs (9). Outfielder Brett Bivens will offer additional offensive support for the Bombers as he enters tonight’s game with a .295 average, five RBIs and a .319 on-base percentage.
Overall, both squads are in the top of the Northwoods League in pitching, Madison in second with a 2.36 ERA and Battle Creek in fifth with a 3.04 ERA. Madison and Battle Creek have impact players producing at the plate, and both offer tough pitching that could make for an exciting series.