Published On: July 28th, 2009

If the Mallards are to hold onto their South Division lead, the “beast” Harold Riggins (NC State) (pictured in background) needs to come into focus again and get hot at the right time.

Last night’s Box Score

Battle Creek, MI – July 28, 2009. A night after falling to the Battle Creek Bombers 8-7 at C.O. Stadium, the Madison Mallards will look to get back on track as the team now finds itself just one game ahead of the Waterloo Bucks and one-and-a-half games in front of the La Crosse Loggers with 13 games left in the second half.

The Mallards will send right-hander Alex Rivers (Santa Clara) to the mound in trying to earn the series split with the Bombers and earn his second win of the season. Rivers has a 2.62 ERA over 34.1 innings that includes 6 starts.

Here’s how each playoff-hopeful team’s remaining schedule looks on paper:

Madison Mallards (12-8); Combined record of remaining opponents: 67-63
The Mallards conclude a two game set tonight against the Bombers, who remain two games back of the Madison franchise. From there, the team returns home to the “Duck Pond” to play the slumping La Crosse Loggers, who have lost four straight. Madison then will surely experience a sense of deja vu, as they head back to Waterloo on July 31 for a two-game series after having just played there this past Saturday and Sunday. After an off-day on August 2, the Mallards continue the six-game road trip with two scary series against the North Division second place holder St. Cloud River Bats (12-8) and the first place Rochester Honkers (15-8). To conclude the season, Madison returns home for a four-game set beginning Friday, August 7 against the South Division First-Half Champion Eau Claire Express, who have been a shadow of themselves thus far his second half, and the Green Bay Bullfrogs, who are 8-13 and will certainly throw everything at the Mallards in order to keep the highest attending NWL team from making a return trip to the playoffs.

-1 game behind-
Waterloo Bucks (12-10); Combined record of remaining opponents: 56-70

A day after sweeping a doubleheader over the Express last night, the “Jekyll & Hyde” Bucks now find themselves just a game back of Madison with yet another tilt versus Eau Claire tonight. Waterloo owned the South Division’s worst record in the first half (10-23) after experiencing three losing streaks of at least four games throughout the season’s first 34 games. Looking ahead, the Bucks travel to Wausau on Wednesday for a two-game series before returning back home for that before-mentioned matchup against the Mallards. From there, the Bucks finish the season by playing six of its remaining eight games on the road against the Bullfrogs, Loggers, and Express, around a short two-game series at home against the Woochucks. Waterloo has the easiest schedule of the four South Division playoff-hopeful teams.

-1.5 games behind-
La Crosse Loggers (11-10); Combined record of remaining opponents: 63-68

Losers of four straight games, La Crosse will need all of the help it can get from its “Logger Nation” after losing four players last week, including workhorse pitcher and utility player Greg Holt (North Carolina). The Loggers visit Madison this Wednesday, in trying to break the season series tie at three games a piece. From there the team heads to Bullfrog country to take on the last place Green Bay franchise before heading east for a two-game set beginning Monday, August 3 against the Bombers. Road weary, La Crosse then returns home for a brief home-and-home series against the Express in front of finishing the last four games of the season at home against the Bucks and North Division MoonDogs.

-2 games behind-
Battle Creek Bombers (11-11); Combined record of remaining opponents: 57-67

Winners of two straight, the Bombers head north beginning Wednesday to take on the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers and St. Cloud River Bats before returning home on August 3 for a four-game series versus the Loggers and Bullfrogs. Battle Creek then concludes its season on a four-game road trip to Green Bay and Wausau. The Bombers have the second-easiest schedule of the four South Division playoff-hopeful teams.

The Mallards return home for a very important brief two-game series versus the La Crosse Loggers Wednesday, July 29 beginning at 7:05 p.m. The first 1,000 fans will receive the fifth and final bobblehead in the season-long series, this time a “Maynard Pitching” bobblehead courtesy of Schoep’s Ice Cream and WKOW-TV.

On Thursday, the first 1,000 kids, 14 & under will receive a Physicians Plus Tin Lunch Box and the first 1,000 fans of all ages will receive a Yo-Yo courtesy of the Holiday Inn at the American Center. It’ll also be The Simpson’s Night to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary! Anyone named Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, or Maggie will receive a free bleacher ticket (day of game only!).

Plenty of great seats are available for all of the Mallards remaining six home games and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling the box office at 608.246.4277 today!

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