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Shaw among four Mallards named to play in All-Star Game in Madison

Madison, WI – July 10, 2008. The 2008 Northwoods League All-Star Team was announced Monday night with four Madison Mallards making the South Division squad. Representing the team at the All-Star Game on Monday, July 14 will be sophomore catcher Eric Nielsen (Purdue, pictured), sophomore outfielder Rob Lyerly (Charlotte), sophomore left-handed pitcher Matt Jansen (Purdue), and freshman right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw (Louisville, pictured). This marks the second time Nielsen has received such honors while the other three are first-time All-Stars. Listed below are statistics for each player through Saturday’s game (in alphabetical order).

Matt Jansen, LHP, So., Purdue. Jansen is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in 36.1 innings pitched. He was especially effective right out of the gate, posting a 2-0 mark and 1.33 ERA in 27 innings during June. Jansen’s best performance came on June 4th in a victory over the Green Bay Bullfrogs during which he threw eight scoreless innings while only allowing five hits.

Rob Lyerly, OF, So., Charlotte. Lyerly was hands-down the Mallards offensive MVP of the first half, hitting .351 (third in the league) with eight doubles and 22 RBIs. He had a 12-game hitting streak from June 11 to June 22, the second-longest stretch by a Northwoods League player this season. Lyerly has been especially effective on the road, posting a .444 batting average over 10 games.

Eric Nielsen, C, So., Purdue. Nielsen returns to the All-Star Game for the second time in as many seasons. He has been a wall behind the plate for the Mallards, making just one error and leading a pitching staff that checks in sixth in the league with a 3.30 ERA. In his last five games the right-hander is hitting .286 with a pair of runs scored and two more driven in.

Gabriel Shaw, RHP, Fr., Louisville. Shaw is 2-0 with a miniscule 1.29 ERA in 28 innings pitched that includes five starts. He has been very effective as of late in not allowing a run in his last 12 innings of work. He was the winning pitcher in the first-half clincher at Battle Creek on July 3, throwing five innings of three-hit ball in the 7-2 victory.

On Sunday, July 13, the Mallards will host an All-Star Fan Fest at 2:00 p.m. before giving way to the Home Run Derby at 4:30 p.m. The All-American Challenge will follow at 6:05 p.m., pitting local Home Talent League All-Stars versus a Military All-Star Team. The Mallards will then host the 2008 All-Star Game on Monday, July 14 at 7:05 p.m. broadcast live on ESPNU at the “Duck Pond.” Tickets remain for both dates and can be purchased online at Mallardsbaseball.com or by calling the box office at 608.246.4277.