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Mallards Ride Express to a Sweep

by Peter Geppert

 Box Score

Madison, Wisconsin. July 7, 2012 – The Madison Mallards (3-0, 19-19) took advantage of five errors by the Eau Claire Express (0-3, 11-26) and held off a ninth inning rally to slip away with a 5-3 win. The victory gave the Mallards a sweep in their three game series with the Express.

For the first time in the series the Mallards began the scoring with a sacrifice fly by first baseman Jeff Zimmerman (Northern Illinois). The line drive to center field was deep enough to score left fielder Derek Fisher (Virginia) from third base and give Zimmerman his 25th RBI of the year.

The Express tied the score with a sacrifice fly of their own in the fourth inning when catcher Will Fadness’ (UW-Milwaukee) fly ball to center field allowed first baseman Casey Gillaspie (Wichita State) to tag up and score from third.

Express starter Andrew Hedrick (Iowa) settled down to hold the Mallards to one run until the seventh inning when the Mallards were able to scratch one across on an error by right fielder Josh Scheffert (Nebraska). After reaching base on an error, catcher Taylor Gushue (Florida) was able to score from second when Scheffert botched a single by shortstop Tom Verdi (Connecticut).

The Express threatened in the eighth inning after singles by designated hitter Ty Forney (Texas-Permian Basin) and Scheffert put runners on first and third with one out. Mallards reliever Justin Topa (Long Island) was able to work out of the jam by striking out the next two Express hitters to preserve the Mallards lead.

The Express made things interesting in the ninth inning with a two out rally that saw them score two runs with an RBI triple by second baseman Tim Zier (San Diego State) and a passed ball by Gushue that narrowed the deficit to two runs.

With runners on first and second, Mallards reliever Hobie McClain (New Mexico) came out of the bullpen to get Scheffert to ground out to third and record his second save of the season.

Mallards starter Matt LaMothe (Georgia State) rebounded nicely from his roughest start of the season with a 6.0 inning performance in which he only allowed one run on six hits. LaMothe (3-2) struck out five, while walking none.

Topa (1-1) picked up his first win of the season after 2.2 innings of relief that setup the Mallards. In his sixth appearance of the season he struck out three while allowing three runs on five hits.

Hedrick (1-3) was the hard luck loser for the Express after the run he surrendered in the seventh inning proved to be the go ahead run. Through 7.0 innings the right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits.

News and Notes:

By winning tonight the Mallards swept all five home games against the Express in the season series. Overall the Mallards have six game winning streak against the Express, with their last loss coming in a 6-3 defeat on June 9th.

Up Next:

After tonight’s game the Mallards embark on their longest road trip of the season. The team begins the road trip with a two game series against the Green Bay Bullfrogs (1-1, 23-14) before traveling to Battle Creek for a two game series with the Battle Creek Bombers (0-2, 14-23).

The Mallards return to the “Duck Pond” on Friday, July 13th to take on the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (1-1, 17-19). That night will feature the Half Pint Brawlers Midget Wrestler presented by MINI of Madison. 

The 2012 season is upon us! Single-game tickets are on-sale for all Mallards home games!

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The Madison Mallards are part of the 16-team Northwoods League.  The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games, and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate League in North America.

 

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