Published On: June 4th, 2008

Green Bay, WI – June 4, 2008. Matt Jansen (Purdue) pitched eight shutout innings and Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) moved from shortstop to the mound to close the game, as the Mallards defeated the Green Bay Bullfrogs 2-1 in the series opener at Joannes Stadium. Jansen earned his first win of the season for his effort and has now thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings to start the season. With the win the Mallards improve to 5-2 on the season.

Jansen allowed just five hits in his eight innings of work and did not walk any Bullfrogs batters. In 13 innings of work in two starts he has allowed just six base hits and two walks, and has struck out 11. Don Lambert (Baylor) had an RBI groundout in the fifth for the first Mallards run, and Brandon Haveman (Purdue) reached on an error with two outs in the eighth, extending the inning and scoring Luke Stewart (UAB) for the second Mallards run. Joe De Pinto (USC) singled in the fifth to extend his season-opening hitting streak to seven games.

Pitching shined for both teams through the first four innings. The Mallards put runners on in each of the first three innings but couldn’t break through, and the Bullfrogs had base runners in the second and third after being retired in order in the first. After being set down in order in the fourth the Mallards opened the scoring in the fifth. Russell Harben (South Alabama) led off the inning with a double and advanced the third on a wild pitch by Bullfrogs starter Tim Jolly. Lambert then stepped to the plate and did his job with a slow roller to second, easily scoring Harben.

Neither team could string anything together in the sixth or seventh and the Mallards still led 1-0 heading into the eighth inning. Jolly was relieved by Chad Blauer, who gave up back-to-back singles to Stewart and Josh Groves (UW-Milwaukee) with one out. One out later, Haveman hit a groundball to Dwight Tanaka at second base, who could not come up with the ball to make the inning-ending play. Stewart scored, giving the Mallards a 2-0 advantage.

That insurance run proved to come in handy. Wikoff made the move to the mound to face the middle of the Bullfrogs order and try to get the save in the ninth. He walked the leadoff hitter Drew Hedman and got the second batter to ground out to second. David Valesente stepped to the plate and doubled to right for his third hit of the game, scoring Hedman. David Casey followed with a bloop over De Pinto’s head at short, who moved from second to shortstop when Wikoff took the mound, but the freshman made a sprinting over-the-shoulder catch for the second out. Wikoff then struck out Taylor Lang to end the game and earn the save.

The Mallards and Bullfrogs finish their series tonight, with game time scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Mallards then return home for one game against La Crosse on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. It 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) at the “Duck Pond.”

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