Madison, WI – June 11, 2008. The Mallards broke out of their recent offensive slump with a 10-hit, 14-run explosion and held off the Waterloo Bucks 14-12 at the “Duck Pond” Wednesday night in a game during which the Mallards were the visiting team. Luke Stewart (UAB) and Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) led the attack with a combined six hits and six RBIs. Stewart hit a three-run homer in the second for the first scoring of the game, and Lyerly went 4-for-4 on the night and reached base six times. He also scored three runs. The Bucks were powered by three hits by Ryan Goins and at least one hit by each starter. The Mallards were the visiting team on the scoreboard tonight, since heavy flooding moved the series from Waterloo to Madison.
Brandon Johnson (Western Carolina) earned the win for the Mallards with two innings of relief, in which he allowed two hits and one earned run. Nathan Kafka (Minnesota State) pitched the bottom of the ninth and struck out two to earn the save. Chris Pack took the loss for the Bucks, who committed five errors on the night. The Mallards ended a four-game home losing streak and improved to 7-5 on the year. The Bucks dropped to 3-8 overall.
The Mallards jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one-and-a-half innings thanks to the home run to right center by Stewart. They would add two more in the inning on a single to left field by Phil Gosselin (Virginia). But the Bucks came storming back with four of their own in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 5-4 after two. The Mallards scored at least one run in each of the next three innings, highlighted by Stewart’s fourth RBI on a single to left in the third and a two-run single by Lyerly in the fourth. The Bucks had an answer for each Mallards run through the fifth inning, and the score was 10-9 after five innings of play.
Waterloo plated the tying run in the seventh on a two-out home run just over the short porch in right field off the eventual winner Johnson. The Mallards answered right back with three of their own in the top of the eighth, when they sent nine to the plate. Josh Groves (UW-Milwaukee) led off the inning with a walk and later scored his second run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Joe De Pinto (USC). Lyerly reached on a single and scored the second run of the inning on Charlotte teammate Aaron Bray’s first hit as a Mallard, a single to left that also scored Stewart.
But again the Bucks answered back in the home half of the inning, this time scoring two to make the score 13-12. Groves led off the Mallards ninth with a single up the middle, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on Lyerly’s fourth straight single. Bob Lackovic worked out of the ninth with back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout, and the Mallards handed the game over to Kafka in the bottom of the ninth. He struck out the first two Bucks he faced, but hit Bryan Resnick to bring the tying run to the plate in leadoff hitter Spencer Wiggins. But the submariner got him to ground out harmlessly to short to end the game.
The two teams will do battle again tomorrow night, with game time again set for 7:05 p.m. All general admission tickets for tomorrow 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. Great seats are still available for tomorrow’s game, as well as the following series against Battle Creek. Order tickets online at Mallardsbaseball.com or by calling 246.4277.
Friday, we’re celebrating the 13th with a special appearance by Eddie Munster!