Mallards fend off the Bombers, back to .500

The Madison Mallards completed their home series with a W against the Battle Creek Bombers Wednesday, splitting the series a game apiece. Madison used an early spell of runs to secure the 3-2 win, as it never conceded a lead change.

Craig Meier (pictured) received the starting nod from Manager C.J. Thieleke and held the Bombers scoreless through six innings of play. Meier pitched seven full innings, allowing four hits and a run.

While Battle Creek was struggling to produce runs, the Mallards took advantage of Russell Harben’s first-inning leadoff single. After advancing on a groundout, Jordan Comadena recorded an RBI-single to score Harben for the first run of the game.

Harben struck again in the bottom of the second inning with runners at the corners. During a clutch at-bat, Harben drove in Bobby Hubbard to increase the lead to 2-0, ending the scoring until the fifth.

Harben undoubtedly earned his Player of the Game honors, advancing to first on an error and stealing second during the next at-bat. Comadena eventually earned his second RBI of the game, scoring Harben for his second run.

After Meier allowed the Bombers back within two, the Mallards went to the bullpen in the eighth, calling in Tom Stilson for his debut with the team. Stilson pitched the entire eighth, giving up two hits, but held Battle Creek scoreless.

Drama ensued in the ninth, as closer Bubba O’Donnell let up the Bomber’s second run of the evening, cutting the deficit to 3-2, but got out of the jam to improve the Mallards’ record to 10-10.

Meier (1-0) took the win, and O’Donnell secured his fifth save of the season. Harben was the offensive standout with two runs, two hits and an RBI.

The Mallards head to Green Bay for a two-game set against the first-place Bullfrogs. The teams squared off at the Duck Pond last week, and the Mallards were swept away by the expansion team.

Madison returns home Saturday in another two-game series against Waterloo. Saturday is Culver’s Dukes of Hazzard Night with Sonny Shroyer (Enos) making an appearance. Live honky tonk with Pupy Costello. Luxaire and Make-A-Wish Foundation Soft Baseballs to the first 750 kids 14 & under. Post-game fireworks show, presented by Life Style Staffing.