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Madison, WI – June 3. The recently explosive Mallards offensive was quieted tonight, as the Mallards fell to the Mankato MoonDogs 9-3 in front of 4,087 fans at the “Duck Pond.” Mankato heads back home with a series split and their first win against the Mallards in the last 12 meetings. The loss drops the Mallards to 4-2 and one-half game behind the first place Wisconsin Woodchucks.

After scoring 31 runs and hitting .312 as a team in their last three games, the Mallards offense seemed to run out of gas tonight. They could only muster four hits, two of which were by Eric Nielsen (Purdue). He doubled home the first run in the two-run Mallards second and added an RBI single in the third, both off of MoonDogs starter Ryan Demmin. Demmin, making his first start of the season, earned the win with six solid innings pitched and six strikeouts. He gave way to Zach Calhoon, Dale Dickerson and Erik Hamren, who each pitched a blemish-free inning.

Brandon Johnson (Western Carolina) took the mound tonight for the Mallards for the second time this season, looking to build on his successful opening-day outing. The defense did not do him any favors as he allowed six runs on five hits, but only two were earned. He was relieved after two-and-a-third after throwing 74 pitches. Reed Woytek (Baylor) made his Mallards debut tonight, pitching three scoreless innings of relief on just one hit.

The MoonDogs got on the scoreboard first tonight for the second night in a row, and this time they were able to hold on. Leadoff hitter Michael Rockett reached on an error by shortstop Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) and scored on a Wes Freie single three batters later. Designated hitter Carlos Ramirez followed Freie with an RBI single to account for the other MoonDogs run in the first. Ramirez doubled in both the third and the fourth and finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored.

Madison scored just once more in the ballgame, on Nielsen’s second RBI single of the night. MoonDogs pitching got the better of the Mallards the rest of the way, allowing just one hit in the final six innings of play. The Mallards committed three errors on the night, bringing their season total to 11 in six games. Joe De Pinto’s (USC) third-inning single extended his hitting streak to six games.

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The Mallards hit the road tomorrow for two games at Green Bay, before returning to the “Duck Pond” on Friday for a showdown with La Crosse at 7:05 p.m. The Mallards and the Loggers split a home-and-home series earlier this season. Friday night will be Dejope “A Little Vegas Right Here In Madison” Night, and will feature an appearance by the King! It is also Luxury Bath Systems Rubber Ducky Night (first 1,000 kids 14 & under receive a Mallards Rubber Ducky) and General Communications T-Shirt Night (first 1,000 fans).

Published On: June 3rd, 2008