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Mitch Saum walk-off winner in ninth

The Mallards entered the ninth inning down 9-6 in a back-and-forth contest against La Crosse in Madison’s first-half finale at the Duck Pond. With hundreds of fans having left the game after closer Eryk McConnell blew a save opportunity in the top half of the frame, the Mallards managed to rally against the most successful closer in the North Division, Don Erdall.

In the ninth, Randy Molina led off the inning with a pop-out to right field. Even with the first batter being retired, Madison managed to rally with Jordan Comadena and Daniel Webb both reaching on consecutive singles. Neil Medchill came out of the dugout to run for Webb, who is still nursing an ankle injury from a couple weeks ago. With a runner in scoring position, Bobby Stevens produced an RBI-double, kissing the left-field line. After Matt Behren walked to load the bases, Mitch Saum (pictured with Bobby Stevens) drilled a walk-off, three-RBI double in the gap in left center to clear the bases, winning 10-9.

McConnell (1-0), despite blowing the save, managed to take the win in his 2007 debut, making his first appearance as a Mallard since last summer.

Offensively for the Mallards, five batters recorded more than one hit — Molina, Webb, Stevens, Eric Nielsen and Saum. Bobby Hubbard was another Madison standout with a hit and three RBIs.

With the home portion of the first half of Northwoods League play finished, the Mallards hit the road to play Waterloo, Thunder Bay, St. Cloud and Eau Claire over the next eight days before the All-Star Break.