Mallards return home to squash Beetles Friday; Remain in first place

Last night’s Box Score

Madison, WI – July 10, 2009. The Mallards received timely hitting and a superb outing from Derek Self (Louisiville) in a 3-1 win over Duluth last night to move to 5-1 in the second half, a league-best at the moment, heading into a four-game homestand at the “Duck Pond” this weekend.

Self (2-1) allowed only an unearned run over eight strong innings, scattering five hits while striking out three and walking none. Newcomer, Brandon Johnson (UW-Milwaukee), picked up his first save as a Mallard with a scoreless ninth inning.

In the Madison fourth inning, an error allowed runners to reach second and third and gave Jacob Esch (Georgia Tech) a chance to break a 1-1 tie. He didn’t disappoint, providing an RBI single to put the Mallards up 2-1. They would add a big insurance run in the eighth when Jimmy Parque’s (St. John’s) sacrifice fly scored Chris Barker (MATC). Harold Riggins (NC State) continued his offensive tear with two hits and added to his league-leading RBI total, pushing that number to 36 on the year.

Madison (24-16 overall, 5-1 second half) return home to host Alexandria for a two-game set beginning tonight at 7:05 p.m. Alex Rivers (Santa Clara) will start for the Mallards. The right-hander is 1-1 on the season with a 2.37 ERA in five appearances and three starts. He’ll go up against the righty, Mitch Handley (North Alabama), for Alexandria (24-16, 4-2). Handley is 2-1 with a slim 1.74 ERA in seven starts this season.

The Beetles have won two in a row as have the Mallards heading into tonight. The last time both teams met was the first series of the year. They split a pair of one run affairs which shows both sides are evenly matched and looking to position themselves for the road ahead with a good series this weekend.

First pitch for tonight is slated for 7:05 p.m. and to some, the weather might appear to be unfavorable. If Friday’s game is cancelled due to inclement weather, all fans still in attendance will receive a FREE Great Dane Duck Blind ticket to a future game! Too good to be true? It isn’t…click here to learn how.

Friday will also be Bud Light Hockey Night with a special appearance by Steve Carlson, an original Hanson Brother from the movie Slap Shot! The first 750 adults, 21 and over will receive a Bud Light Can Cooler.