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Published On: August 17th, 2009

Harold Riggins (NC State) is the Mallards new all-time home run leader after surpassing Luke Stewart’s eight long balls set in 2008.

Madison, WI – August 17, 2009. Northwoods League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star Harold Riggins (NC State) came to Madison in May with high expectations and certainly didn’t disappoint, in setting a new Mallards single-season and career-best home run mark with nine long balls and tying the RBI record with 48.

The soon-to-be sophomore first baseman/designated hitter smacked his eighth home run on July 11 to surpass the previous single-season record that was tied by Luke Stewart (UAB) last year before being held by Francois Larmore (Marshall) since he set the mark in 2003. Interestingly enough, Riggins and Stewart both hail from Normal, Ill. and attended the same high school (Normal Community West).

Then, after going 20 straight games without a home run, Riggins finally hit another in the last game of the year on August 10, 2009 to break Stewart’s career home run record of eight (Stewart hit one home run during last year’s NWL Divisional Series against the Wisconsin Woodchucks that counted towards his career total).

With that swing Riggins also joined the Mallards record books by driving in his 48th run of the summer, to tie the mark set by left-handed hitting Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) a year ago. Like Harold, Lyerly was named to both the NWL Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star Teams. This past June he was selected in the sixth round of the MLB Draft by the New York Yankees and is currently playing for its Class-A Staten Island ballclub.

On the mound two Mallards pitchers tied a rather impressive single-season record as both left-hander Matt Jansen (Purdue) and All-Star right-hander Cody Winiarski (MATC) made 12 starts on the hill to share a mark already held by four others including, Justin Fuller (North Florida, 2001), Rene Recio (Oral Roberts, 2001), Robbie Van (UNLV, 2001), and Phillip Martinez (NW Louisianna, 2002).

Cody Winiarski

Matt Jansen

Team records fall:
The heavy-hitting 2009 Mallards squad set five new team records in batting average (.269), hits (614), doubles (123), home runs (52), and slugging percentage (.397). The old records were: .267 (set in 2007), 593 (2007), 105 (2007), 24 (2003), and .346 (2003), respectively.

Those 52 home runs rank sixth in the league’s single-season team record books and the 614 hits rank ninth.

Near individual-records:
Adam McClain (Memphis) had his sights set on the doubles record of 19 set last year by Lyerly but fell just short in hitting 16 over 56 games. He provided one of the most electric moments of the year on June 5th when he hit a walk-off grand slam to defeat the St. Cloud River Bats 9-5 and sent 6,252 Mallards fans home happy.

Adam McClain

A workhorse all year, Winiarski nearly eclipsed the single-season innings record of 83.2 set by Recio in 2001 by throwing 80.0 innings this past summer. Expected to return to Madison next season, the talented right-hander will have a chance to break the career innings record of 144 set by right-hander Adam Mills (Charlotte) from 2005-06. Mills is currently pitching for the Pawtucket Red Sox in the Triple-A International League.

A two-year Mallard, Jansen nearly broke Recio’s career strikeout total of 98 that was set over the course of one season, but came just two punchouts short.

Join us this Friday & Saturday for the last two special events of the season held at the “Duck Pond!”

On Friday, August 21, the Fourth-Annual Mallards/MLB Alumni Game will be held with Hall of Famer Paul Molitor headlining the event! All autographs are FREE and can be obtained when gates open at 4:30 p.m. The Great Dane Duck Blind & other hospitality areas will then open at 5:30 p.m. The game’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. For a full list of participants please click here…or to purchase tickets online please click here or call us at 608.246.4277 today!

On Saturday, August 22, join us for the second-ever Roller Derby bout in front of the Great Dane Duck Blind! The Madison-based Dairyland Dolls will battle the Minneapolis-based Northstar Rollergirls at 6:05 p.m. with gates opening at 5:05 p.m. Plenty of great seats in the Duck Blind and general admission tickets are still available and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling the box office at 608.246.4277 today!