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Published On: June 24th, 2009

La Crosse, WI – June 24, 2009. The Mallards will look to earn a series split tonight versus the La Crosse Loggers a day after falling 4-2 to move one-and-a-half games behind the first-place Eau Claire Express, who were rained out for the fourth time this season.

Last night Mallards starting pitcher Jacob Esch (Georgia Tech) threw five scoreless innings but had to settle for the no decision after the team’s 2-0 lead was squandered when the Loggers rallied back for 4 runs in the seventh inning to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Right-handed reliever JR Graham (Santa Clara) picked up the loss (0-2) after allowing those four runs on three hits. His final line was a bit misleading as the seventh inning should’ve ended at a 2-2 deadlock, but after right fielder Jimmy Parque (St. John’s) couldn’t track a semi-deep fly ball hit to him by Loggers designated hitter Preckajlo, two more runs were credited to Graham.

Leading the Mallards offense was Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State) with a 3-for-4 game and RBI and Kurtis Muller (Iowa) with two hits and an RBI as well.

Tonight, Madison (16-8) will send right-hander Cody Winiarski (MATC) to the hill to try to earn a series split with the Loggers (15-10). Winiarski (3-1) has a 1.84 ERA in 29.1 innings of work over 4 starts this season. His best performance came in his last start on June 17, when he threw seven scoreless innings and struck out eight batters in a 12-0 romping of the Waterloo Bucks.

Winiarski continues to lead the Mallards fan poll with 100 votes as of Wednesday morning asking which pitcher should start the 2009 Northwoods League All-Star Game to be played in Thunder Bay, on Tuesday, July 21. Purdue right-hander Matt Morgan currently sits at a distant second with 23 votes.

Meanwhile the Loggers will counter with Pete Woodworth (0-2) who has a 4.35 ERA in 20.2 innings over 4 starts. In his last outing on June 17 against the St. Cloud River Bats, Woodworth allowed two earned runs in six innings of work and was saddled with the loss.

Tonight’s first pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Copeland Park.

The Mallards then head back to Eau Claire tomorrow to play a doubleheader as a result from Sunday’s suspended game due to rain. Game one will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will resume with the Express leading 1-0 in the top half of the second inning. Game two will follow 30 minutes after the first game.

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Fans, the team returns home this weekend for Rhythm & Booms and the TQ Diamonds “Diamond Dig” on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. & Doggie Day, Channel3000.com Jersey Backpack Day, & St. Mary’s Happy Heart Activity Book giveaway on Sunday with the game slated to begin at 3:05 p.m.

The Mallards then hit the road for one game on Monday in Wausau before returning back to the “Duck Pond” on Tuesday for the Thrift Painting Baseball Night (first 1,000 kids, 14 & under) and Budweiser T-Shirt Night (first 500 adults).

To purchase tickets for any of the Mallards remaining games, please click here or call the box office at 608.246.4277 today!