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Near Perfection Gives Mallards Win

 Box Score

Madison, WI- June 24, 2012- Seven combined perfect innings by Mallards pitchers, including six from Mallards starter  Matt LaMothe  (Georgia State), and center fielder  Tyler Marincov ’s (North Florida) fifth home run of the season was enough to get the Madison Mallards (11-15) a 3-2 win over the Eau Claire Express (8-17). The win gave the Mallards a split of their weekend home stand.

Neither team would be able to scratch a run across until the sixth inning when Marincov was able to hit

Marincov mid swing- Resized a towering shot off of Express starter Andrew Hedrick (Iowa) to left field to get his fifth home run of the season.

Mallards starter LaMothe (3-2) retired the first 18 Express hitters, carrying a perfect game through six innings. The Express finally reached base on a leadoff double by second baseman Tim Zier (San Diego State) to end LaMothe’s bid for perfection.

The Express would tie the game in that same inning when right fielder Josh Scheffert (Nebraska) scored Zier on an RBI single.

The Mallards responded to retake the lead in the seventh when right fielder  Derek Fisher  (Virginia) took advantage of a wild pitch by Hedrick (1-2) to score easily from third base.

The Mallards would add an insurance run in the eighth inning on first baseman  Jeff Zimmerman ’s (Northern Illinois) third hit of the day, scoring third baseman Nicholas Howard (Virginia) to extend the Mallards lead to 3-1.

LaMothe had his best start of the season, giving up one run and three hits while fanning eight hitters to

LaMothe2earn the win. All eight of the strikeouts he registered were of the swinging variety, using his changeup particularly effectively to deceive the Express hitters.

Things would get a little dicey in the ninth inning for the Mallards when closer  John Hamilton  (UNC-Charlotte) allowed an RBI double by Scheffert to cut the lead the Mallards lead to one. Hamilton would settle down to get Express third baseman Jimmy Allen (Cal Poly) to strikeout looking with a runner on third, and pickup his seventh save of the season.

Hedrick was the underserving loser for the Express, giving up the go ahead run in the seventh inning on a wild pitch. Through 7.0 innings the lefty gave up two runs on seven hits and had two strikeouts.

Mallards reliever  Justin Topa  (Long Island) continued to impress out of the bullpen, striking out two in 1.0 inning of relief. Through two appearances Topa has struck out five of the six hitters he has faced, and has not allowed a hit.

The Mallards defense played their first perfect game since an error free effort in a 1-0 win over the Green Bay Bullfrogs on June 7th.

Up next for the Mallards is a road game that begins a three game series with the Wisconsin Woodchucks (12-13).    

The Mallards return to the “Duck Pond” on Tuesday June 26th to play the second game of their three game series with the Woodchucks. That night will Zombie Night at the ballpark.