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Battle Creek comes to town tonight at 7:05

Madison, WI – July 18. After knocking out a season-high 16 hits last night against Alexandria, the Mallards return to the field behind the right arm of Brandon Johnson (Western Carolina) and welcome the Battle Creek Bombers to the “Duck Pond” tonight. Johnson will be opposed by Battle Creek righty Matt Larkins. The ZOOperstars make a triumphant return to the ballpark tonight! Come out and watch your favorite character battle for your laughs! Gates open at 5:30 tonight.

Battle Creek Bombers (6-4) at Madison Mallards (4-6)
July 18, 2008 – 7:05 p.m. (CT)
Warner Park – Madison, WI

Pitching Probables:
RHP Brandon Johnson (MAD) – 2 GS, 24.0 IP, 4-3, 4.88 ERA
RHP Matt Larkins (BC) – 5 GS, 33.1 IP, 2-2, 2.97 ERA

Mallards records (first half):
– 4-0 vs. Battle Creek
– 10-8 at home
– 12-3 on road
– 14-6 vs. South Division
– 8-5 vs. North Division

Mallards records (second half):
– 0-0 vs. Battle Creek
– 2-1 at home
– 2-5 on road
– 1-3 vs. South Division
– 3-3 vs. North Division

Madison is…
– 20-6 when scoring first
– 3-4 in extra innings
– 7-5 in one-run games
– 18-1 when leading after 7 innings
– 17-2 when outhitting its opponent
– 19-1 when scoring 7+ runs
– 18-5 when making equal or fewer errors than opponent

Last time out for the Mallards: W 11-5 vs. Alexandria, July 17
It was a different story at the “Duck Pond” Thursday night, as the Beetles and the Mallards combined for 16 runs and 28 hits one day after a 5-2 Beetles victory in which there were only 10 total hits. Madison salvaged a series split with the 11-5 victory on Thursday in which they had a season-high 16 hits. Every starter for both teams had at least one hit in the game. Kyle Heim (Iowa) earned the win with two innings of relief work, and Beetles All-Star Matt Hill took the loss after he struggled in one-third of an inning.

Let’s Play Two:
The Mallards are 4-0 in doubleheaders this season. They will try to tack on two more wins in an upcoming double-dip at La Crosse on July 21.

Mallards Musings:
-The Mallards were represented in the 2008 Northwoods League All-Star Game by pitchers Gabriel Shaw (Louisville) and Matt Jansen (Purdue), as well as outfielder Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) and catcher Eric Nielsen (Purdue). Nielsen appeared in his second straight All-Star Game.
-Jansen struck out the side in the first in his one inning of work, and Lyerly was 2-for-2 with a run scored and another driven in. Shaw worked two-thirds of an inning and allowed one hit, while Nielsen entered the game late and went hitless in two at-bats. The South Division ended a three-game All-Star losing streak with an 8-4 victory in front of an All-Star Game record crowd of 5,357.
-Lyerly leads the Northwoods League with a .349 batting average in 33 games played.
-Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) is third in the league in runs scored with 32.
-After a 4-for-5 performance on June 26 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.
-Lyerly made it two Mallards award-winners in one week when he earned the honor on June 30 after a 4-for-5 game at Mankato. He had a home run, a double, three RBIs and scored three runs in the contest.
-Drew Martin (NC State) was NWL Player of the Night on July 3 when he was 5-for-7 in two games at Battle Creek on the last day of the first half.
-Wikoff earned Northwoods League Player of the Night July 10 when he reached base six times with three singles and three walks. He scored five runs for the Mallards.
-With a win on June 25 at Thunder Bay, Brandon Johnson (Western Carolina) moved into a tie for sixth in the league in wins with four.
-Wikoff had a 10-game hitting streak snapped on June 28. It was the Mallards second-longest hitting streak of the season.
-Lyerly’s 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 third-longest hitting streak in the Northwoods League this season.
-From the beginning of the season on May 29 until June 15 Wikoff reached base in 16 consecutive games.

Season-ticket holders have the first opportunity to purchase playoff tickets that are on-sale right now. Tickets will only be available in a package of all four potential home playoff games. On July 22 all fans who wish to purchase that same package of four games will be able to do so at that time. Single-game playoff tickets will go on sale to the public on July 29. Playoff tickets can be purchased by calling 608.246.4277 or by visiting the Mallards box office.

Box seats for the playoffs will be $ 9, with bleacher seats priced at $ 8. Cheap seats can be purchased for $ 7 and standing room only tickets will be available for $ 6. The Duck Blind will be open for the playoffs, with beer tickets priced at $ 26 for Sunday-Wednesday games and $ 31 for Thursday-Saturday nights. Duck Blind soda tickets will be $ 21 or $ 26. Reserved seats in the Duck Blind will be $ 31 for Sunday-Wednesday games and $36 for Thursday-Saturday nights. Suites are also available for playoff games and fans can receive more details by calling the Mallards box office and asking for group sales.

More details on playoff games at the “Duck Pond” will be made available on mallardsbaseball.com as soon as the second half of the regular season concludes. Tickets for the remainder of the Mallards regular season home schedule can be purchased online, in person at the Box Office or by calling 608.246.4277.