Mallards offense struggles, team drops third straight

Eau Claire, WI – July 22, 2008. The Mallards offense sputtered tonight against the Eau Claire Express, managing just two runs on three hits and dropped an 8-2 contest in front of 1,374 fans at Carson Park Tuesday night. D.J. Mauldin earned the win for the Express, working seven solid innings and allowing just two hits and no earned runs. Kyle Heim (Iowa) took the loss for the Mallards, pitching four innings and giving up one unearned run and two hits. The loss is the third straight for the Mallards and drops their record to 7-9 in the second half.

Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) was 1-for-3 on the night and scored one of the two Mallards runs. Aaron Bray (Charlotte), who entered the game for an injured Drew Martin (NC State), scored the other and was 1-for-1 with another driven in. The Express got a three-run home run from Brooks Pinckard in the fifth that sealed the deal tonight.

Heim flew through the first two innings, before giving up a run in the third for the first run of the night. The Express added three more in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead, and that was all they would need. Madison scored their only two runs in the eighth inning, when the top of the order accounted for the runs when Wikoff and Bray scored early in the inning.

Madison made three errors on the night and a quartet of pitchers gave up 12 hits in the game. The two teams will square off again tomorrow night at 6:35, and the Mallards will try to win for first time in four games. After the series finale against the Express the Mallards will travel on to Green Bay for a pair of games, before returning home Saturday and Sunday for two games against Waterloo.