Madison, WI – June 10, 2008. The Mallards and Thunder Bay Border Cats dueled into the 10th inning for the second game in a row and for the second time the Border Cats came out with the win, this time by a score of 3-1 to earn the series sweep at the “Duck Pond.” The Mallards offense struggled for the third night in a row, mustering just one run on three hits off of three Border Cats hurlers. They have scored three runs on 13 hits in the last three games. Dan Zehr earned the win for Thunder Bay with three-and-two-thirds blemish-free innings, striking out five. Andy Deain (Northern Illinois) took the loss for the Mallards. A crowd of 4,484 came out to the “Duck Pond,” which was Madison’s fourth straight defeat at home.
This was the Mallards fourth loss in their last at-bat on the season. Joe Yermal (Charlotte, pictured) made his Mallards debut on the mound tonight and was solid in six innings of work. He scattered four hits and allowed one earned run. He was relieved by Scott Heitshusen (Michigan State) who worked one inning and struck out the side looking. Nathan Kafka (Minnesota State) followed him and did not allow a hit. Yermal’s outing continued a streak of phenomenal starts by the Mallards pitching staff. In the last five games, Mallards starters have allowed only three earned runs on 21 hits in 33 innings pitched, a 0.82 ERA.
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning, when both teams were able to push across a run. Derek Wiley was hit by a pitch to start the Border Cats inning and scored on a triple to left center that rolled to the wall by Tim Palincsar. The Mallards answered in the home half of the inning when Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) walked with one away. He advanced to third on a single to right field by Phil Gosselin (Virginia), and scored one batter later on Rob Lyerly’s (Charlotte) fielder’s choice groundout to second.
The contest remained knotted up until the 10th, when the Border Cats scored two go-ahead runs as a result of a trio of walks. Josh Ashenbrenner led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wiley and moved the rest of the way around the bases on a pair of singles. Palincsar was intentionally walked and scored four batters later on a bases-loaded free pass by Deain. The bottom third of the Mallards order was retired in order in the bottom of the 10th to end the game. The Mallards dropped to 6-5 on the season.
The Mallards are now at home tomorrow and Thursday for two games against Waterloo. The series was originally scheduled to be played at Waterloo, but recent heavy rains flooded their stadium and forced the series to be moved to the “Duck Pond.” Both games will start at 7:05 p.m., and Waterloo will remain the home team. All general admission tickets for tomorrow and Thursday are just 7 dollars, and for an unprecedented 12 dollars fans can receive a ticket and an all-you-can eat-and-drink menu option for unlimited hot dogs, brats, popcorn and soda through the fifth inning. Come out to the “Duck Pond” and see a road game for the Mallards without leaving Madison! Great seats are still available for the next two games versus Waterloo, as well as the following series against Battle Creek.