Published On: August 1st, 2008

Madison, WI – August 1, 2008. For the second straight home game Madison ignited the scoreboard early and often, sending nine to the plate in each of the first two innings to take a 9-0 lead after two and holding on for an 11-7 in front of 5,892 fans at the “Duck Pond” Friday night. The win was the first for the Mallards against the Express in the second half and improves their record to 9-17 in the half and 31-28 overall. Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) and Phil Gosselin (Virginia) both had four hits in the game for the Mallards and combined for six RBIs and five runs scored.

Brandon Copp (Northern Illinois) earned the win for the Mallards in his first decision of the season, and Express starter Evan Ellison took the loss and is now 0-2. Eau Claire got a three-hit game from Dominic Piazza and two hits from Braden Degamo and Ryan Lee. The Mallards also got a pair of hits from three others. Five Mallards scored multiple runs in the game. With nine in the first two innings tonight, Madison has now scored 18 runs in the first two innings of the last two home games.

Mallards starter Gabriel Shaw (Louisville) walked Nolan Fadness to start the game, but then quickly retired Robbie Knight and Brooks Pinckard for the first two outs of the game. The right-hander then issued a free pass to Joe Bonfe and retired Fadness in a rundown to end the inning with no damage.

The Mallards offense exploded in the bottom of the first for five runs, thanks to a couple of costly errors and four hits. Brandon Wikoff (Illinois), Lyerly and Gosselin all singled and scored off Ellison in the first, in what would be his only inning of work. Shaw gave up back-to-back singles to start the second, but stranded them on first and second with two strikeouts and a groundout to second.

The scoring continued for the Mallards in the bottom of the third off new Express hurler Willie Beard, as the team again sent nine to the plate and scored four runs on six hits to take a 9-0 lead after two, highlighted by a three-run home run to right-center by Lyerly. After two at-bats he had scored two runs and driven in four. Wikoff and Gosselin also singled and scored in the second, giving them identical lines of two singles and two runs scored after two at-bats. Soares also knocked out his second single in the bottom of the second.

Both pitchers worked through the third inning in order, sending the game into the fourth inning with Madison still having a commanding 9-0 lead. Eau Claire finally capitalized on their baserunners in the fourth, scoring three times on four hits to cut the lead to 9-3. Ryan O’Sullivan had the big blow, a two-run home run to left field that scored Degamo.

Gosselin hit his third single of the night in the fourth and Aaron Bray (Charlotte) had his second, but Madison could not add to their lead. In the fifth Eau Claire scored four more times, driving Shaw from the game and cutting the lead to a mere 9-7.

But three Mallards relievers allowed just one hit in the final four-and-a-third to preserve the win. Copp took over for Shaw with two outs in the fifth and worked until the eighth and allowed no hits, before handing the ball over to Kyle Rutter (NC State). Rutter pitched a scoreless eighth and Reed Woytek (Baylor) wrapped things up in the ninth.

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The two teams end the series tomorrow night at 6:05 at the “Duck Pond.” It is Madison Senators Turn-Back-the-Clock Night, and the Mallards will wear replica Madison Senators jerseys that the team wore from 1907-1914! There will also be music by the Hometown Sweethearts!

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