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Published On: July 3rd, 2008

Madison, WI – July 3, 2008. The last day of the first half will prove to be an exciting one, as the South Division race between three teams is still up in the air heading into the final games. After a rainout last night at Battle Creek, the Mallards will play a doubleheader against the Bombers starting at 5:05 (CT). The Mallards find themselves tied with Wisconsin for first place in the South Division, with La Crosse lurking one-half game back of the pair. A Mallards doubleheader sweep or one win coupled with losses by Wisconsin and La Crosse gives the Mallards the first half title. Follow all the action from Battle Creek at livemallardsbaseball.com!

Madison Mallards (20-11) at Battle Creek Bombers (10-22) – doubleheader
July 3, 2008 – 5:05 p.m. (CT) , second game 30 minutes following first game
C.O. Brown Stadium – Battle Creek, MI

Game 1 Pitching Probables:
RHP Alex Rivers (MAD) – 2 GS, 13.0 IP, 1-0, 1.38 ERA
RHP Matt Larkins (BC) – 2 GS, 13.0 IP, 1-0, 0.69 ERA

Game 2 Pitching Probables:
RHP Gabriel Shaw (MAD) – 4 GS, 23.0 IP, 1-0, 1.57 ERA
RHP Doug Murray (BC) – 2 GS, 16.2 IP, 1-0, 3.24 ERA

Mallards records:
– 2-0 vs. Battle Creek
– 10-8 at home
– 10-3 on road
– 12-6 vs. South Division
– 8-5 vs. North Division

Madison is…
– 14-3 when scoring first
– 3-3 in extra innings
– 7-2 in one-run games
– 15-1 when leading after 7 innings
– 12-1 when outhitting its opponent
– 13-0 when scoring 7+ runs
– 13-2 when making equal or fewer errors than opponent

Last time out for the Mallards: Rained out at Battle Creek, July 2
The series opener between the Mallards and the Bombers was washed out Wednesday night. The two teams will play a twin-bill consisting of two seven-inning games tonight to make up for last night’s cancellation.

First half stretch run update:
With one day left in the first half, neither the Mallards nor the Woodchucks has pulled away in the South Division race. The two teams remain tied going into the final day, with the Mallards playing a doubleheader to make up for a rainout and Wisconsin playing a single game at Waterloo. A Mallards doubleheader sweep against Battle Creek or a Mallards win coupled with a Wisconsin loss gives the first half title to the Mallards. La Crosse still lurks one-half game behind the pair and plays at Brainerd tonight.

Road Warriors:
The Mallards continue their 10-game, 11-day road trip, which is by far their longest of the season. The team finds themselves in Battle Creek for a pair of games tonight before moving on to Wausau this weekend. After enjoying a day off on Sunday, June 6, they will go to Duluth and then Alexandria, before returning to Madison on Friday, July 11.

Mallards Musings:
-Luke Stewart (UAB) is tied for third in the Northwoods League with four home runs. His 13 extra-base hits rank him fourth in the league, and he stands sixth in the Northwoods League with 24 RBIs.
-After a 4-for-5 performance on Thursday against Brainerd, outfielder Aaron Bray (Charlotte) was named Northwoods League Player of the Night. He had four singles and scored three runs. Bray is the first Mallard to win the nightly award this season. Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) made it two Mallards award-winners in one week when he earned the honor on Monday after a 4-for-5 game at Mankato. He had a home run, a double, three RBIs and scored three runs in the contest.
-With a win on June 25 at Thunder Bay, Brandon Johnson (Western Carolina) moved into a tie for the third in the league in wins with four.
-Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) had a 10-game hitting streak snapped on June 28. It was the Mallards second-longest hitting streak of the season.
-Rob Lyerly’s (Charlotte) 12-game hitting streak dating back to June 11 ended with a 0-for-2 performance at Thunder Bay on June 24. He hit .380 with 11 runs scored and four doubles during the streak. It is the second-longest hitting streak in the Northwoods League this season.
-From the beginning of the season on May 29 until June 15 Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) reached base in 16 consecutive games.

Two Mallards win College World Series Championship:
Mallards Alan Ahmady and Trent Soares will arrive in Madison as College World Series Champions. The Fresno State Bulldogs defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 6-1 Wednesday night to win the College World Series two games to one. Ahmady had a remarkable postseason to conclude a breakout 2008 campaign, going 17-for-48 (.354) in Fresno State’s 13 postseason games. He drove in 12 runs and scored 10 more. In 2008 Ahmady hit .386 and drove in 92 runs, a total that was good for second in the NCAA. After losing game one to Georgia 7-6 on Monday night, the Bulldogs evened the series on Tuesday with a 19-10 win and then wrapped up the championship with a 6-1 victory on Wednesday night. It is Fresno State’s first baseball championship in school history.