Published On: June 21st, 2009

Box Score

Eau Claire, WI – June 20, 2009. Eau Claire starting pitcher Jon Ringenburg (1-1) allowed only one run through eight innings, while holding Madison’s vaunted offense to four hits, to give the Express the 2-1 victory over the Mallards Saturday night at Carson Park.

Eau Claire (15-5) now leads the Mallards (16-7) by a half-game in the Northwoods League South Division.

Tonight’s game looked promising right from the very start when leadoff man Kurtis Muller (Iowa) began the game with an infield single and proceeded to steal both second and third while Joe De Pinto (USC) and Adam McClain (Memphis) made consecutive out. Luckily, catcher Joe Patterson (Texas A&M) decided to clutch-up and stroked a double off the right field wall to score Muller and give the Mallards a 1-0 lead.

Eau Claire would answer in the bottom of the second when Robbie Knight (Creighton) was hit by a pitch and catcher Dominic Piazza (Yavapai) followed with a walk. After Andy Leonard (UIC) sacrificed both runners over, Drew Heitshoff (Augustana) then hit a ground ball to shortstop De Pinto to score Knight and tied the game at 1 a piece.

After the Mallards went down 1-2-3 in top half of the third inning, the Express took the lead in the bottom half, which turned out to be final score of the ballgame.

A Nolan Fadness (UW-Oshkosh) walk began the inning and Pinckard followed with a single up the middle. The Mallards caught a break when Fadness was caught stealing third base and batter Nate Baumann (Augustana) struck out a few pitches later. Designated hitter Rafael Neda (New Mexico) then came up huge when a two-out single to plate Pinckard and give the Express a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.

The Mallards best chance to tied the game came in the fifth inning when Jimmy Parque (St. John’s) led off the frame with a single and stole second base. Troy Channing (St. Mary’s) was unable to move Parque over in flying out to right field. After a Trent Soares (Fresno State) strikeout, Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State) followed with a base hit to left, but a strike by Fadness to catcher Piazza had Parque out by a few steps at home plate for the final out.

Starter Alex Rivers (Santa Clara) certainly did all he could to keep Madison in the
ballgame. He allowed only those two earned runs in his six innings of work, while striking out four in the process. Rivers picked up his first loss of the season in as many starts.

Express closer Devan Kline Central Michigan pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his ninth save of the season. He has yet to give up a run this summer.

Notes: Muller recorded his sixth and seventh stolen bases on the season…FM 100.5 ESPN broadcaster Gabe Neitzel announced on three occasions that Mallards relief pitcher Dan Burawa (St. John’s) had pitches’ recorded at 96 mph…These same two teams will do battle again tomorrow evening at 6:05 p.m.

The Mallards return home on Saturday, June 27 for Rhythm & Booms! We’ll also hold our second annual TQ Diamonds “Diamond Dig” whereby the first 1,000 ladies will have the chance to dig through the infield dirt in hopes of finding a real diamond! It’s also Culver’s Night to get Culverized. Then, after the big fireworks show, the movie “Field of Dreams” will be shown in the outfield!

To purchase tickets for Rhythm & Booms please click here or call us at 608.246.4277 today!

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