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Mallards Look To Sink Rafters To Start Three Game Homestand

Madison, WI – July 11, 2014. The Madison Mallards (6-4, 24-19) return from their five game road trip to begin a three game home stand against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (4-4, 16-27) tonight at the “Duck Pond.” First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm.

On the mound for the Mallards tonight is Sterling Sharp (Eastern Michigan). Sharp holds a 2.88 ERA in 34.1 innings of work, having struck out 30 opposing batters while allowing five runs in his past six games. His last start, Sharp gave up two runs on five hits while striking out four in a 7-1 loss to the Battle Creek Bombers.

He will square off against Rafters starter Nick Blackburn, a 6’2”, 200-pound righty out of the University of Illinois. Blackburn is 2-2 on the year with a 3.09 ERA in 32 innings of work, and in his last start, he gave up two runs on seven hits, walking one while striking out four in a 14-5 win over the Kenosha Kingfish.

Last night the Mallards fell to the Rafters 3-1 in Wisconsin Rapids after third baseman Keelin Rasch (Louisiana Monroe) hit a three run shot in the fourth inning off Mallards starter Rob McDonnell (Illinois) to record the Rafters only three runs.

McDonnell went six innings, allowing four hits while striking out five in the loss.

The Mallards scored one run in the eighth inning off a sacrifice fly from right fielder Connor Marabell (Jacksonville), his 11th RBI off the year in just ten games played with the club.

Rafters starter Jake Cage (Azusa Pacific University) tossed a six inning shutout, walking one while striking out four in the win.

The Mallards currently sit 2.5 games back of the Lakeshore Chinooks in the Northwoods League South Division and a half game back of the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the second half standings. In the overall standings, the Mallards are eight games back of the Chinooks and 1.5 games behind the La Crosse Loggers with 31 games left to play.

The Mallards stay at the “Duck Pond” tomorrow to face the Rafters at 6:05 pm. Saturday night will feature a TDS Thundersticks Giveaway.

Mallards single game tickets are on-sale now. To purchase tickets, log on to MallardsBaseball.com, call 608-246-4277, or stop by the Mallards ticket office.

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The Madison Mallards are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit MallardsBaseball.com.