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Mallards win 9-7 shootout over Bucks Sunday; Now own 1.5 game lead

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Right fielder Jimmy Parque (St. John’s) added his second two-hit game in as many days to help sweep the Waterloo Bucks Sunday afternoon in a 9-7 victory. The Mallards now own a one-and-a-half game lead over the La Crosse Loggers with 14 games left in the second half.

Box Score

Waterloo, IA – July 26, 2009. A Mallards 9-7 shootout victory over the Waterloo Bucks coupled with a La Crosse Loggers loss on Sunday, now has the Madison franchise in first place by one-and-a-half games as the team ventures east to take on the playoff-hopeful Battle Creek Bombers on Monday.

The Mallards now lead the before-mentioned Loggers (11-9) by 1.5 games, the Bucks (10-10) by 2.5 games, and the Bombers (10-11) by 3 games.

Madison (12-7) began the high scoring affair in the first inning when Kurtis Muller (Iowa) led off the game with a single and right fielder Jimmy Parque (St. John’s) followed with an RBI triple, the team’s second three-bagger in as many games, to score Muller and give the team a 1-0 lead.

However, the Bucks answered back in the bottom half on an RBI groundout by Willie Argo (Illinois) to score Tyler Robbins (Des Moines Area CC) who led off the game with a single. The next batter, first baseman Frazier Hall (Southern), then singled in Phil Keppler (Iowa) from third base who had walked and advanced on a pair of groundouts. The Bucks 2-1 lead wouldn’t last long.

Madison would add two more in the top half of the second inning when Troy Channing (St. Mary’s) led off the frame with a walk and shortstop Brashad Johnson (Des Moines Area CC) followed with a double to runners on second and third. Channing then was able to score on a Tyson Blaser (Iowa) RBI groundout, 4-to-3 for those scoring at home, to tie the game at two. Muller then followed suit with another 4-to-3 putout that allowed Johnson to score and give the Mallards the lead once again.

Waterloo struck back with avengeance in the fourth inning to retake the lead by scoring four runs on four hits. Tyler Robbins hit a big two-run double to score Josh Lyon and Christian Griffiths. Nemesis Keppler then singled in Robbins to make the score 5-3. Keppler would later score in a wild pitch by Mallards starter JR Graham (Santa Clara) to extend Waterloo’s lead to 6-3.

The Mallards played with more urgency tonight, and that was evident in the top of the fifth inning when the team posted a four-spot on the scoreboard of its own to send the playoff-hopeful Bucks a message that a shootout was in store. Bucks starting pitcher Rick Dodridge fell into a jam by walking leadoff man Blaser and plunking the next two hitters in Muller and Parque to load the bases. He would bear down however, and strike out first baseman Harold Riggins (NC State) before leaving the game.

Reliever Lenny Linsky (Hawaii) then entered the game and was greeted rather rudely when designated hitter Joe Patterson (Texas A&M) stroked a two-RBI double to left field to score Blaser and Chris Barker (MATC), who was pinch running for Muller. Parque then touched home on an RBI groundout by Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) to tie the game at six a-piece. The Mallards re-took the lead when third baseman Jacob Esch (Georgia Tech) clutched-up and drove in Patterson on an RBI single.

The back-and-forth scoring affair was again locked up in the bottom half of the fifth, this time at seven’s, when Waterloo’s Josh Lyon (Indiana) singled to score Troy White (Northern Illinois).

Not so fast said the Mallards offense on this night. After a one-out single by Blaser, Barker then drove in the current-Hawkeye on an RBI double to left field to regain the lead. Then two batters later, John Hicks (Virginia) added to the assault by hitting a single to score Barker and give the Mallards a 9-7 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

From there, Madison’s bullpen became the story of the game in shutting down the Bucks’ offense and only allowing one hit through the game’s last four innings. Right-hander Patrick Lala (Kirkwood) made his Mallards debut, and in grand fashion, by throwing three scoreless innings while striking out three batters. Fill-in closer Dan Burawa (St. John’s) then slammed the door in the ninth to pick up his fifth save of the season.

Brad Allen (Elgin CC) picked up his second (2-3) win of the season after allowing one run in the fifth inning.

Linsky (0-5) was saddled for the loss after allowing two runs in his 1.2 innings of work.

The Mallards, winners of two straight games, now head to Battle Creek for a two game set beginning Monday evening at 6:05 p.m. Sunday’s victory gave Madison a 5-1 record against Waterloo with the team’s final meeting, a two-game set beginning July 31, on the immediate horizon.

Catch all Mallards action on the road by dialing in to FM 100.5 ESPN or by visiting espnmadison.com for a live audio stream of the game. To view the game visit Mallardsbaseball.com and click on “Game Day” to begin your visual experience today.

Great seats remain for all six final Mallards home games and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling the box office at 608.246.4277 today!