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Madison, WI – June 22, 2008. The Mallards and Wisconsin Woodchucks needed extra innings to decide a winner for the second night in a row, and for the second night in a row the Mallards won it in the bottom of the 10th, this time by a score of 9-8. Last night it was a bases-loaded walk by Josh Groves (UW-Milwaukee) that ended the game, and tonight’s winning run came on a two-out single by Phil Gosselin (Virginia) that drove in Aaron Bray (Charlotte) from second. It was Gosselin’s fourth hit of the night. Brandon Johnson (Western Carolina) worked the 10th inning to earn the win, and Brad Riddle took the loss in his sixth inning of relief work. The Mallards earned the sweep and pulled within three games of the first-place Woodchucks in front of a season-high 7,281 fans at the “Duck Pond.”

The two teams combined for 24 hits, with Gosselin’s four and Bray’s three leading the Mallards who got a pair of RBIs from Bray, Brandon Wikoff (Illinois), Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) and Gosselin. The Woodchucks got three hits from Chris Wade, and two hits and three RBIs from Troy Frazier. Frazier finished the series 5-for-9 with six batted in and two runs scored.

The first inning-and-a-half went by with little fanfare, as the Woodchucks managed just a couple of singles in two innings off Mallards starter Joe Yermal (Charlotte) and the Mallards recorded no hits off Rob Currie in the first. In the bottom of the second the Mallards put a run across, spearheaded by a double by Phil Gosselin (Virginia). He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Drew Martin (NC State) and remained there as the Mallards drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Eric Nielsen (Purdue) then drew a walk himself, scoring Gosselin. With the bases still loaded it began to rain, prompting a 34-minute rain delay. After the tarp was removed Aaron Bray (Charlotte) grounded the first pitch back to the pitcher to start a 1-2-3 double play to end the second with the Mallards on top 1-0.

In the third the Woodchucks came right back and scored three off Yermal on two base hits, a walk and an error. The big blow came on a ball hit deep to center by Brent Weaver that was caught by Russell Harben (South Alabama) in center, but two runs tagged up and scored as Harben was injured on the play and could not throw the ball in to the infield. He had to be replaced by Scott Heitshusen (Kansas), who went to left and moved Bray to center.

The Mallards put up a crooked number of their own in the bottom of the fourth, scoring five runs highlighted by triples by Bray and Wikoff that accounted for three of the five runs. Lyerly added an RBI double, and Gosselin had an RBI single to give the Mallards a 6-4 lead heading into the fifth.

The two teams were not done putting runs on the board, as the Woodchucks scored four in the fifth, driving Yermal from the game with no outs recorded in the inning. He was relieved by Travis High (NC State), who retired the side successfully with Wisconsin on top 8-6. After last night’s game, which featured four ties and four lead changes, it was only fitting that the Mallards would score two in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at eight.

That was all the scoring that would happen until the decisive 10th inning, as Riddle held the Mallards in check and the Woodchucks were kept at bay by Andy Deain (Northern Illinois) and Reed Woytek (Baylor).

Johnson came on in the Woodchucks’ 10th, working around a lead-off walk to retire the side. Riddle, who already had pitched five innings in relief, gave up Bray’s third hit of the night to start things off in the bottom of the 10th. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Heitshusen, and following an intentional walk to Wikoff and a flyout to center by Lyerly, scored the winning run on Gosselin’s single over second base.

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The Mallards will take tomorrow off before traveling north of the border to Thunder Bay for games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. They will return to the “Duck Pond” for two games against Brainerd on Thursday and Friday and a two-game set against Green Bay on Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday night will feature a Mascot Soccer Game, sponsored by MAYSA and Quench Gum & Break Away Sports. Local mascots will battle for supremacy! Great seats still remain for the four upcoming games, as well as the remainder of the Mallards season. They can be purchased online at mallardsbaseball.com, or by calling 608.246.4277.

Published On: June 22nd, 2008