La Crosse, WI – June 23, 2009. The Mallards resume action tonight versus the La Crosse Loggers for a two-game set beginning at 7:05 p.m. at Copeland Park. Madison (16-7) now sits one full game behind the first place Eau Claire Express (16-5) after the Express defeated the Waterloo Bucks 11-9 last night at Riverfront Stadium.
Making his second start of the season for the Mallards tonight will be right-hander Jacob Esch (0-0) (Georgia Tech) who has a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings of work. His lone start came versus the Loggers on June 12 when he gave up two earned runs in six innings in the no decision.
La Crosse will counter with left-hander Steve Gruver (Tennessee) who is 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 20.2 innings over four starts. His best performance came during game two against St. Cloud on June 17 when he didn’t allow a run in 6.1 innings. Gruver also struck out six batters.
Eau Claire finishes its two-game series versus the Bucks tonight beginning at 7:05 p.m. After an off-day on Wednesday, the Express and Mallards are set to do battle again Thursday for a doubleheader to make up Sunday’s rain-suspended game. The first game will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will resume with the Express leading 1-0 in the top of the second inning.
Pitching over hitting
Even though not one Loggers’ hitter boasts a batting average over .300 (outfielder Tony Mueller comes closest at .295) the team has gotten by with solid pitching as its staff now ranks second in the league with a 2.44 ERA. However, they do rank last in home runs allowed (13) heading into today’s series versus the Mallards, who lead the league in four-baggers (21).
He’s a run scorer
Mallards shortstop Joe De Pinto (USC) continues to lead the league in runs scored (23) and now ranks fourth in extra-base hits (9).
Good to be home
A number of Loggers are enjoying the comforts of playing at Copeland Park, including outfielder Morgan Mickan (Texas) (.471, 8 hits), catcher Robert Blantly (UC-Riverside) (.364, 8 hits), and infielder Chris Engell (San Diego) (.310, 13 hits).
Don’t miss a moment of Mallards action while the team hits the road by listening to FM 100.5 ESPN or by visiting espnmadison.com for a live streaming of all games. Also, be sure to visit Mallardsbaseball.com and the Game Day page to watch a live webcast of every Mallards game this season.
Fans, the team returns home this Saturday & Sunday for a two-game series versus the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers. Saturday is Rhythm & Booms & the TQ Diamonds “Diamond Dig” with game-time beginning at 5:05 p.m.
Sunday is “Doggie Day” with dog owners receiving one free bleacher ticket while bringing their favorite four-legged friend to the ballpark! Game-time will begin at 3:05 p.m with gates opening at 1:30 p.m.
To purchase tickets for any remaining game, please click here or call the box office at 608.246.4277 today!