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Offense looks to continue early-inning dominance

Madison, WI – August 2, 2008. After scoring 18 runs in the first two innings of the last two home games, the Mallards offense will try to keep things going early and often tonight against the Eau Claire Express at 6:05. Matt Jansen (Purdue) starts on the mound for the Mallards tonight against Express righty Drew Leary. It is Madison Senators Turn-Back-the-Clock Night, and the Mallards will wear Madison Senators jerseys that the team wore from 1907-1914. There will also be music from the Hometown Sweethearts.

Eau Claire Express (28-30, 13-12) at Madison Mallards (31-28, 9-17)
August 2, 2008 – 6:05 p.m. (CT)
Warner Park – Madison, WI

Pitching Probables:
LHP Matt Jansen (MAD) – 10 GS, 55.0 IP, 2-4, 2.29 ERA
RHP Drew Leary (ECL) – 2 GS (4 APP), 14.0 IP, 1-1, 3.86 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):
– 1-4 vs. Eau Claire
– 7-3 at home
– 2-14 on road
– 6-14 vs. South Division
– 3-3 vs. North Division

Madison is…
– 23-10 when scoring first
– 3-6 in extra innings
– 7-8 in one-run games
– 23-3 when leading after 7 innings
– 22-4 when outhitting its opponent
– 23-2 when scoring 7+ runs
– 22-12 when making equal or fewer errors than opponent

Last time out for the Mallards: W 11-7 vs. Eau Claire, August 1
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.

Mallards Musings:
-Each of the Mallards last 9 games are against South-Division foes.
-The Mallards are first in the league in runs scored as a team (325). Wisconsin is second with 318 runs scored.
-Madison has drawn the most walks in the league this season (302). Waterloo is the next closest with 286 team walks.
-Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) is first in the Northwoods League lead with a .347 batting average in 49 games played.
-Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) is third in the league in runs scored with 45.
-Brant Combs (Missouri State) has appeared in the most games in the league this season (27).
-Lyerly’s 18 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 two 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.”