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Big Ten Freshman of the Year To Start Tonight for Mallards

By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations

Madison, WI — June 7, 2013. The Madison Mallards (4-4) hope to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Northwoods League South Division leaders Wisconsin Woodchucks (5-2) tonight at the “Duck Pond.” First pitch is slated for 7:05 pm.

In the first game of the two-game series Thursday night, Woodchucks first baseman Matt Tellor (Southeast Missouri) hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh off of Mallards reliever Jordan Mills (St. Mary’s) that gave the Woodchucks a 6-5 lead that proved to be the difference maker in a game that featured seven lead changes.

Mallards right fielder Tate Matheny (Missouri State) broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the seventh with an RBI single with two outs that scored Eric Cheray (Missouri State), but Mills—who relieved Mallards starter Danny Sullivan (Davenport) in the fourth—gave up the blast in the bottom half of the inning.

Tellor also went yard in the third with a three-run home run to left field. His 20 RBIs on the season rank first in the Northwoods League by a wide margin. Mallards catcher Mike Fitzgerald (Indiana State) stands in second place with a total of 11. 

Kevin Duchene (Illinois) will be making his debut on the hill with the Mallards tonight. The 6’2,” 200-pound native of Joliet, Illinois recently concluded a very decorated freshman season with the University of Illinois. He won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Award by going 9-1 with a 2.79 ERA in 18 appearances (12 starts). He also recorded the Illini’s lone win in the 2013 NCAA Baseball Tournament in the Nashville Regional.

The Woodchucks will be sending Seth Davis (Augustana) to the mound. Davis, a 5’10,” 180-pound native of Aurora, Colorado, struggled in his first start of the season against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters on June 1st. He gave up five runs—three earned—on six hits in just four innings. He struck out seven and walked only one. He went 7-2 with an ERA of just 1.89 in 12 starts with Augustana this past spring. He struck out 100 batters and walked only 18 in 90.1 innings of work.

Tellor Tearing It Up

Tellor ranks in the top five of the Northwoods League in a handful of major offensive statistics categories. His .414 batting average ranks sixth, his nine runs scored ranks fifth, his 12 hits ranks tied for third, his five doubles ranks tied for second and his three home runs ranks second behind Mankato’s Chase Simpson (Wichita State).

Stranding Them On Base

Despite a record of 4-4, the Mallards rank second in the Northwoods League in batting average with a mark of .271. They are only .003 points behind the Woodchucks. The team’s habit of leaving runners on base is the culprit. The Mallards have stranded 73 runners on base through their eight games this season, good for an average of over nine runners stranded per game.

Up Next:

The Mallards will hit the road for a four-game road trip starting Saturday at Eau Claire. They will square off against the Express for two games and then head to Mequon, Wisconsin to battle the Lakeshore Chinooks for a pair of games.

The BOCA Burger Vegetarian Appreciation Night and the Madison Knitters Guild Stitch and Pitch Night will take place at the next Mallards home game on June 12th against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters at 7:05 pm. There will also be a Meriter Hand Sanitizer Giveaway that night.

The 2013 season is upon us! Single-game tickets are on-sale now!

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 Baseball League in North America. In 2013, the Northwoods League will celebrate its 20th season.