The Mallards finally broke back into the winning column Monday defeating Green Bay 13-4 snapping a five-game losing streak. Madison returns to Warner Park after a two-day road trip to face its first North Division opponent, Rochester, since Thunder Bay back on July 6 and 7.
Left-handed throwing Nick Kirk will be the probable go-to guy for the Mallards on Tuesday. Kirk is 1-1 and has yet to allow an earned run this season in three starts. Kirk is making his first start since the Mallards faced Green Bay on ESPNU in which he went five innings of work allowing three hits and striking out three.
In 18 innings pitched, Kirk has struck out 19 and opposing batters have struggled batting .140 against the sophomore from Northern Iowa.
Mallards hitters have their work cut out for them Tuesday evening, as they face one of the toughest pitchers in the Northwoods League, right-hander Greg Martin. Martin is third in the NWL in pitching with a 1.50 ERA and has a 6-0 record entering Tuesday.
The sophomore from UNC-Greensboro has 33 strikeouts in 48 innings pitched. Before his previous start against Brainerd back on July 8, Martin went 21 innings pitched without allowing an earned run covering a span of three starts. In addition, Martin has a 0.45 ERA in two starts on the road in 2007.
Martin will have plenty of support offensively as Rochester enters third in the NWL in hitting at .264. Outfielder Drew Hoisington is fourth in hitting at .340, first in home runs with eight and second in runs batted in with 31. Hoisington is second in slugging percentage at .610 and is behind fellow teammate Raynor Campbell, who holds a .648 slugging percentage.
Campbell is leading the Northwoods League in hitting with a .400 average with six home runs and 17 runs batted in. Rochester has an astounding 45 home runs which leads the NWL and following the Honkers would be La Crosse with just 20.
This will be the final two-game series between both squads this season, as they split an earlier two-game set back in late June.
As for the Mallards, the big story has been the production of veteran Jordan Comadena. The Purdue outfielder is on track to break the Mallards record for walks (38) in a season with 34, and he has cracked the top five in Northwoods League offensive categories including an on-base percentage of .460 and runs scored with 27.
One of the other standouts as of late has been Randy Molina, who leads the Mallards with a .304 average with six doubles and 15 runs batted in. Molina is currently on a four-game hitting streak — all of which have been multi-hit games .353 (6-17). During that span, Molina has scored four runs and driven in seven. Molina has also batted .354 (17-48) in the month of July and .343 (12-35) at the Duck Pond.
Hopefully, the offensive explosion against Green Bay on Monday could be the decisive factor that will turn things around for Madison in the second half.