Published On: June 26th, 2008

Madison, WI – June 26, 2008. Luke Stewart’s (UAB) five RBIs and Aaron Bray’s (Charlotte) 4-for-5 game keyed the Mallards offense to a 10-2 thumping of the Brainerd Blue Thunder in front of 5,426 fans at the “Duck Pond.” The win was the fifth straight for the Mallards, and puts them in position to get their third straight series sweep tomorrow night. Nine of the Mallards 10 runs were manufactured with two outs and the team knocked out 14 hits on the night, tying a season-high. Alex Rivers (Santa Clara) pitched six innings, allowing six base hits and one earned run to pick up his first win of the season. Tonight’s win coupled with a La Crosse loss at Rochester moves the Mallards into a tie for second place in the South Division, two games behind Wisconsin with seven to play in the first half.

Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) had three hits and drove in three runs, and Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) and Josh Groves (UW-Milwaukee) joined Stewart with two hits in the game. Wikoff also scored two runs and knocked in two more. Drew Martin (NC State) crossed the plate twice for the Mallards as well.

The Mallards scored three in each of the first two innings, all with two outs, to take a 6-1 lead after two. Bray singled to start the first and following a Wikoff strikeout and a Lyerly fly out, Phil Gosselin (Virginia) walked to put two runners on with two outs. Stewart then worked the court full, before blasting a pitch into the Duck Blind addition in right field to give the Mallards a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second Martin walked with two outs and Bray singled for the second time, giving the Mallards runners on first and second and bringing the left-handed hitting Wikoff to the plate. He followed with a single to right field, scoring Martin and moving Bray to third. The two-out offense continued as Lyerly doubled to the left-center wall, bringing in Bray and Wikoff and putting the Mallards ahead 6-1.

That was all the offense Rivers would need, as he allowed just the one run in the second inning. He put baserunners on in each of the first five innings he worked, but they would all be stranded thanks to some good defensive work behind him and some timely double plays.

It was Stewart again who delivered the big blow in the Mallards three-run sixth off new Blue Thunder hurler Spencer Parish, driving in two with a double to right-center for his fourth and fifth RBIs of the game. Kyle Heim (Iowa) relieved Rivers in the seventh and worked two innings without allowing a base hit and striking out two. He handed the ball over to Travis High (NC State) to pitch the ninth with a 10-1 lead. The Blue Thunder got a run off High, but it was unearned as a result of Wikoff dropping a flyball with two outs.

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The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at 7:05 at the “Duck Pond” to conclude the series. It is Concordia University “Happy Days” Night at the ballpark, featuring a special appearance by “Potsie” Anson Williams! Come out early for an opportunity to meet the legendary character and get a free autograph and picture. The first 750 adults 21 & over will receive a Budweiser Pint Glass featuring Mallards Manager C.J. Thieleke.

Great seats still remain for tomorrow’s contest against Brainerd, as well as the weekend series against Green Bay. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 608.246.4277. Don’t hesitate and miss your chance for a night of family fun at the “Duck Pond!”

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