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Waterloo comes to Madison in the thick of the playoff race

Madison, WI – August 8, 2008. The Waterloo Bucks come to Madison in the hunt for a second-half South Division championship tonight for a 7:05 contest. The Bucks are just 1.5 games behind the Wisconsin Woodchucks with four games remaining in the season. Brandon Johnson (Western Carolina) starts on the mound for the Mallards tonight. Come early to receive a Fireside Hearth & Home Picture Frame! (first 1,000 fans).

Waterloo Bucks (30-32, 16-14) at Madison Mallards (33-31, 11-20)
August 8, 2008 – 7:05 p.m. (CT)
Warner Park – Madison, WI

Pitching Probables:
RHP Brandon Johnson (MAD) – 4 GS (15 APP), 38.0 IP, 4-3, 4.50 ERA
RHP Garrett Nix (WLO) – 7 GS (13 APP), 49.1 IP, 2-2, 3.10 ERA

Mallards records (first half):
– 3-1 vs. Waterloo
– 10-8 at home
– 12-3 on road
– 14-6 vs. South Division
– 8-5 vs. North Division

Mallards records (second half):
– 0-2 vs. Waterloo
– 9-5 at home
– 2-15 on road
– 8-17 vs. South Division
– 3-3 vs. North Division

Madison is…
– 24-11 when scoring first
– 3-7 in extra innings
– 7-9 in one-run games
– 25-3 when leading after 7 innings
– 24-4 when outhitting its opponent
– 25-3 when scoring 7+ runs
– 24-13 when making equal or fewer errors than opponent

Last time out for the Mallards: L 8-7 at La Crosse, August 7
Andy Pascoe and P.J. Polk both drove in two runs to lead the La Crosse Loggers to an 8-7 victory over the Mallards Thursday night at Copeland Park. Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) set a new Mallards single-season RBI record with an RBI single in the top of the first. He now has 47 RBIs on the season. The Mallards held a 2-0 lead after two-and-a-half before La Crosse scored four runs in the bottom of the third off Gabriel Shaw (Louisville). The big blow was a two-run triple to right field by Polk that scored B.J. Guinn and Justin Toole.

Mallards Musings:
-The Mallards lead the league in runs scored as a team (353). Wisconsin is second with 343 runs scored.
-Madison has drawn the most walks in the league this season (321). Waterloo is the next closest with 310 team walks.
-Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) leads the Northwoods League lead with a .344 batting average.
-Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) is third in the league in runs scored with 47.
-Brant Combs (Missouri State) has appeared in the second-most games in the league this season (28).
-Lyerly’s 47 RBIs sets a new single-season Mallards team record.
-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.
-Phil Gosselin’s (Virginia) six triples this season is a new Mallards single-season record.
-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.
-Eric Nielsen (Purdue) was NWL Player of the Night on August 3 for his 3-for-4 game with four RBIs. He is the sixth different Mallard to win the award and by winning on August 3, a Mallard player won the award for the seventh time 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. His award marks the sixth time that a Mallard has won 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 $ 36 for 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.”