Madison, WI – August 2, 2008. It was a complete reversal at the “Duck Pond” on Saturday night in more ways than one, as a mere four days after scoring the most runs in franchise history the Mallards gave up the most runs in franchise history in a 19-0 drubbing at the hands of the Eau Claire Express. And after scoring nine runs in the first two innings of yesterday’s contest against Eau Claire, the Mallards allowed eight in the first three frames to give the Express a lead they would not relinquish. Eau Claire’s Ryan O’Sullivan was 4-for-5 with a home run and three doubles at the plate, and also pitched the final three innings to earn the save. He scored three runs and drove in six. The loss drops the Mallards to 9-18 in the second half and 31-29 overall.
Robbie Knight also had four hits for the Express and scored four runs. Madison received two-hit games from Aaron Bray (Charlotte) and Luke Stewart (UAB), but could only muster seven hits on the night off O’Sullivan and Express starter Drew Leary, who worked six innings and allowed five hits to earn the win. Mallards starter Matt Jansen (Purdue) took the loss and fell to 2-5 on the season. In the last four games, all against Madison, O’Sullivan has knocked out four home runs and had 12 RBIs.
Eau Claire jumped all over Jansen in the first to set the tone and take a 5-0 lead after one-half inning. O’Sullivan blasted a two-out, three-run home run to right field for the big blow of the inning. The Mallards were retired in order in the home half of the first and Eau Claire scored another in the second and two more in the third off new pitcher Travis High (NC State) to jump out to an 8-0 lead after three.
The fifth inning proved to be a demoralizing one for Madison, as Eau Claire scored nine runs before an out was recorded. Brant Combs (Missouri State) started the inning and faced seven batters before he was relieved by Alex Rivers (NC State). All seven batters came around to score and were charged to Combs. Rivers finished the fifth and allowed two runs on two hits.
Nathan Kafka (Minnesota State) and Andy Deain (Northern Illinois) finished the game, each pitching two innings. The Mallards saw just two runners reach third base the entire game.
The Mallards will welcome the Green Bay Bullfrogs to the “Duck Pond” tomorrow night for a 5:05 showdown. It is Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar Mini Bat Night (first 500 14 & under) and Wisconsin DOT & Habush, Habush, & Rotier Bike Helmet Night (first 200 kids, ages 5-12) at the ballpark.