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Mallards Fall 12-5 in Second-Half Opener

By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations

Eau Claire, WI — July 4, 2013. The Madison Mallards (21-13, 0-1) dropped the first game of the second half of the season 12-5 to the Eau Claire Express (13-22, 1-0) Thursday night despite tallying one more hit than the opposition.

The Express used two five-run innings to break the game open. Mike Porcaro (UW-Milwaukee) hit a two-run blast off of Mallards starter Greg Welsh (Penn State) to get the scoring started in the five-run third inning before Sam Haggerty (New Mexico) hit a three-run homer of his own to put the Express up 5-1 after three.

The other five-run inning came in the bottom of the seventh off of Mallards relievers Shawn Hunter (Oklahoma State) and Ben Neumann (Northern Illinois). Only one of those runs was earned, as the Mallards committed two errors in the frame and three in the entire game.

The two other Express runs came off of a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice in the fourth.

The Mallards out-hit the Express 10-9 but scattered their hits and couldn’t put together a big rally. They scored one run in the third, fourth and seventh innings and plated two more in the eighth.

Welsh was tagged with his first loss of the season and drops to 4-1. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on five hits in four innings and saw his ERA rise to 3.50.

Express starter Paul Voelker (Dallas Baptist) allowed two runs (both earned) on five hits in five innings while improving to 2-1 on the year. He also walked three and struck out six.

The Mallards No. 2 through No. 4 hitters provided the bulk of the offense Thursday. John LaPrise (Virginia), Joe McCarthy (Virginia), and Drew Weeks (North Florida) all had two hits and LaPrise and McCarthy both notched one RBI. Geonte Jackson (San Jacinto CC) also had himself a day at the plate and finished 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

Haggerty finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs on the night for the Express while Matt Menard (Baylor) went 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and two RBIs.

The Mallards return to the “Duck Pond” Friday for a doubleheader against the Eau Claire Express. The first matchup is set for a 4:05 pm start. That night marks the Zimbrick Honda Military Appreciation Night with a Military Maynard Bobblehead giveaway. The Schoep’s Ice Cream Scoop Giveaway will also take place and the Badger Honor Flight Community Connection Night will be held.

The Madison Mallards are your Northwoods League South Division First Half Champions! Playoff tickets will go on sale Monday at noon!

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 is celebrating its 20th season.