Madison, WI – July 31, 2008. Brandon Johnson (Western Carolina) will make his fourth start of the season tonight, looking to pitch the Mallards into the win column ahead of a four-game homestand beginning Friday night. Eau Claire won the series opener last night with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth. Check out the web broadcast from Eau Claire tonight on northwoods.tv beginning at 6:35.
Madison Mallards (30-27, 8-16) at Eau Claire Express (27-29, 12-11)
July 31, 2008 – 6:35 p.m. (CT)
Carson Park – Eau Claire, WI
RHP Brandon Johnson (MAD) – 3 GS (14 APP), 33.0 IP, 4-3, 5.18 ERA
RHP Chris Odegaard (ECL) – 9 GS, 57.1 IP, 5-1, 2.04 ERA
Mallards records (first half):
– 1-1 vs. Eau Claire
– 10-8 at home
– 12-3 on road
– 14-6 vs. South Division
– 8-5 vs. North Division
Mallards records (second half):
– 0-3 vs. Eau Claire
– 6-3 at home
– 2-13 on road
– 5-13 vs. South Division
– 3-3 vs. North Division
– 22-10 when scoring first
– 3-6 in extra innings
– 7-8 in one-run games
– 22-3 when leading after 7 innings
– 21-4 when outhitting its opponent
– 22-2 when scoring 7+ runs
– 21-11 when making equal or fewer errors than opponent
Last time out for the Mallards: L 6-5 at Eau Claire, July 30
A two-out single to right field by Robbie Knight in the bottom of the ninth scored Nolan Fadness from second base and propelled the Eau Claire Express to a 6-5 victory over the Madison Mallards Wednesday night in Eau Claire. Nathan Kafka (Minnesota State) relieved Andy Deain (Northern Illinois) to start the ninth and got two quick flyouts before running into trouble and ultimately taking the loss, dropping his record to 0-2 on the season. The loss was the 10th in the last 11 games for the Mallards and moves their record to 8-16 in the second half.
-Each of the Mallards last 11 games are against South-Division foes.
-The Mallards lead the league in runs scored as a team (314). Wisconsin is second with 308 runs scored.
-Madison has drawn the most walks in the league this season (298). Waterloo is the next closest with 280 team walks.
-Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) is tied for the Northwoods League lead with a .340 batting average in 47 games played.
-Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) is third in the league in runs scored with 43.
-Luke Stewart’s (UAB) six home runs put him in a tie for fifth in the league.
-Brant Combs (Missouri State) has appeared in the second-most games in the league this season (26).
-Lyerly’s 17 doubles this season sets a new single-season Mallards team record. Randy Molina (Stanford) had 15 in 2007 for the previous team record. He is six RBIs away from the team record (46 – Bobby Hubbard, 2007).
-Wikoff reached base in the first 22 games he played at the “Duck Pond” to start the season. He was 0-for-5 on July 26 to snap the streak. It is tied for the longest home consecutive on-base streak in the league this season.
-Lyerly earned Northwoods League Player of the Night for the second time on July 29, when he was 4-for-4 with three doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored. He is the sixth Mallards to win the nightly award.
-Joe Bonadonna (Illinois) became the fifth Mallard to win Northwoods League Player of the Night when he reached base five times against Battle Creek on July 19. He was 3-for-3 with two singles and a double, and also drew two walks and scored three times.
-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.
-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.
-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.
-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’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.
-Wikoff had a 10-game hitting streak snapped on June 28. It was the Mallards second-longest hitting streak of the season.
-From the beginning of the season on May 29 until June 15 Wikoff reached base in 16 consecutive games.
With a first-half Northwoods League South Division championship under their belts the Madison Mallards are returning to the postseason after a one-year hiatus and all tickets are now on sale. The team will be hosting its first playoff game on either August 12 or 13 (determined by best overall record of the two South Division postseason foes).
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 for $ 36 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.
Playoff tickets can be purchased online at Mallardsbaseball.com, by phone at 246.4277, or by visiting the box office at the “Duck Pond.”