The Mallards completed their road trip Monday night on a bad note losing to Eau Claire 7-1 and being swept by the Express for the first time this season. Right-handed pitcher Scott Heitshusen was on the hill Monday Night for the Mallards as was Mike LaLuna for the Express.
Heitshusen (pictured below) entered Monday leading the Mallards in victories with a 3-2 record and a 3.60 ERA. LaLuna was 1-2 with a similar ERA as Heitshusen at 3.60. LaLuna’s last appearance came back on 6/27 against Battle Creek where he allowed no earned runs on just one hit. As for Heitshusen he made his fifth start of the season on Monday and recently came off a loss back on 6/30 against LaCrosse going 3.2 innings of work and allowing one earned run on three hits.
Eau Claire got on the board first with a one run first inning. LaLuna and the Express pitching staff would shut down the Mallards bats for seven innings.
The Express would collect three runs with a big third inning and carry a 4-0 lead all the way into the top of the eighth inning. Thing then began to brighten up for the Mallards as they finally got on the board with a run, making it 4-1 Express.
However the Mallards bullpen could not keep things close as Eau Claire broke things wide open in the bottom half of the eighth by putting up another three run inning. Unfortunately the Mallards hit a bad time to slow down the productivity of their offense and therefore could not get back into the game Monday evening.
Another key factor was that the Mallards defense did not give Heitshusen much support as Madison put up three errors on the board that eventually would only help the Express add more runs to their name.
With the loss, the Mallards drop to 17-21 overall on the year and 1-3 in the second half. Eau Claire improves to 20-18 overall and 3-1 in the second half.
Mallards Fans don’t forget that catcher Eric Nielsen and pitcher Bubba O’Donnell will be representing the Mallards in Mankato this Wednesday for the 2007 Northwoods League All-Star Game
The Mallards will be back at the Duck Pond on Friday, July 13th @ 7:05 pm to take on the Wisconsin Woodchucks. It will be Short Person Appreciation Night at Warner Park featuring Emmannuel Lewis (A.K.A. Webster) and ticket prices will be based on height There will be a special appearance from Jimmy Winn and all fans on the Great Dane Duck Blind will receive a Mallards T-shirt courtesy of Covance.