Madison, WI – June 28, 2008. Early offense and another good showing by the bullpen helped power the Mallards to a 7-4 victory over the Green Bay Bullfrogs in front of 7,104 fans at the “Duck Pond.” The win was the Mallards seventh in a row and again helps keep them in position for a South Division first-half title with five games remaining in the half. Aaron Bray (Charlotte), Phil Gosselin (Virginia) and Josh Groves (UW-Milwaukee) had two hits apiece for the Mallards, and Kyle Heim (Iowa), Andy Deain (Northern Illinois) and Bryan Hamilton (Charlotte) came out of the bullpen and allowed just four combined hits in six innings of work. South Division-leading Wisconsin was rained out at St. Cloud, meaning the Mallards now stand only one-half game out of first place.
The Mallards scored all seven of their runs in the first two innings and had hits in each of the first six to jump out early and gain a lead they would not relinquish. The five-run first inning came off Bullfrogs starter Bryce Smolen, who lasted just that one inning. Bray led off the inning with a double down the left field line and scored two batters later on a double by Gosselin. Luke Stewart (UAB) followed with a single that moved Gosselin to third and scored Rob Lyerly (Charlotte), who was hit by a pitch to reach base. Groves hit the Mallards third double of the inning, a shot to the left-center gap that scored Gosselin. The Mallards added one more and took a 5-1 lead into the second inning.
Mallards starter Joe Yermal (Charlotte) allowed two more Bullfrogs runs in the second as the result of three base hits and an error. He settled down in the third and allowed just one base hit, but was relieved after completing three innings and throwing 59 pitches. He was relieved by Heim, who worked three innings and allowed three hits and the Bullfrogs final run.
The right-handed Deain pitched the seventh, allowing a one-out base hit before inducing an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Hamilton came on in the eighth and finished the game to earn his first save of the season. He retired all six Bullfrogs he faced, three on groundouts, two on flyouts and one batter on strikes to end the game.
The Mallards are now in position to get their fourth straight series sweep and eighth straight win when the two teams take the field tomorrow afternoon at 3:05. It is St. Mary’s Turn-Back-the-Clock Night, and the Mallards will wear replica 1930s style Madison Blues uniforms. The first 500 kids and 500 seniors will receive a replica Blues hat! Stick around after the game for an exciting Home Talent League game between Evansville and Lake Mills. Great seats still remain, and tickets can be purchased online at mallardsbaseball.com or by calling 608.246.4277.
Following the series finale tomorrow afternoon, the Mallards will hit the road for an 11-game road trip and will return to Madison on Friday, July 11. Madison travels to North Division-leading Mankato for two games on Monday and Tuesday and will head to Battle Creek for two on Wednesday and Thursday to finish up the first half of the season.