By Peter Geppert
Eau Claire, WI – August 2, 2012. The Madison Mallards (16-8, 32-27) travel to Eau Claire for the final time this season to start a three game series with the Eau Claire Express (11-14, 22-37). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm.
On Wednesday center fielder John Welborn (Texas-San Antonio) hit likely the most important home run to date this season for the Mallards, a solo blast in the 11th inning to cap a 7-6 win over the La Crosse Loggers (14-10, 40-19). The home run salvaged the finale of the four game series, and allowed the Mallards to remain within ear shot of the red hot Wisconsin Woodchucks (21-3, 38-22) for a post-season berth.
Starting for the Mallards tonight is right-hander Kurt Giller (Oral Roberts). Giller (2-1) is coming off his roughest outing of the season in which he only went 1.0 inning, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk in a 5-4 loss to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (7-18, 23-36). He comes into tonight sporting a 4.50 ERA with 41 strikeouts compared to 27 walks.
Right-hander Devin Moore (Indiana State) will take the ball for his sixth start of the season with the Express. In his prior start Moore (3-2) picked up the win, surrendering two runs on seven hits while striking out five in a 12-2 win over the Lakeshore Chinooks (14-10, 31-28). Over his last three games the right-hander has become more difficult for hitters to pick up, averaging a little under seven strikeouts in that span.
With last night’s 3-for-6, two home run game Welborn earned NWL Player of the Night for the first time this season.
Derailing the Express:
Of all the teams in the South Division the Mallards have enjoyed the most success against the struggling Express, posting a 6-1 record and riding a six game season series win streak.
After tonight’s game the Mallards continue their five game road trip tomorrow night with the second game of their three game series against the Express. First pitch of that game is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
The Mallards return to the “Duck Pond” on Sunday, August 5th to start a five game series with the Lakeshore Chinooks (14-10, 31-28). That night will be Marshfield Clinic Susan G. Komen for the Cure Night and Princess Millie Bobblehead Night at the ballpark.