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Mallards Seek Series Sweep of Bullfrogs

6-11 Preview CROPPEDMadison, Wis. – Storming back from an early deficit on Tuesday, the Madison Mallards (8-6) will look to capture a sweep of the Green Bay Bullfrogs (6-7) in tonight’s series finale at the Duck Pond. Wednesday evening’s contest – scheduled for 7:05 p.m. – will be the final meeting between Madison and Green Bay at Warner Park in 2015.

Tonight, the Mallards will entrust left-handed pitcher Grant Spranger (Southeastern CC) with his third start of the season. The 6-foot-1 southpaw originally from Bettendorf, Ia., has crafted a productive start to his first summer in the Northwoods League, authoring a 0.90 ERA with a mere three hits allowed in his first two outings (10 IP). His sterling start comes on the heels of a freshman campaign in which he went 6-1 with a 5.19 ERA across 10 games started.

To counter, Bullfrogs field manager Skip Handelsman will task right-handed pitcher Luke Crabb (Dodge City CC) with his second starting appearance of the summer. Crabb, a 6-foot-3 native of Independence, Mo., received a losing decision in his first outing on June 1 against Wisconsin Rapids, allowing one earned run and fanning five across 4.2 innings. His sophomore collegiate campaign was one to remember, punching out 100 batters in 87.2 innings with a 3.29 ERA.

  • Gonsolin Grows Streak – Though Tuesday evening’s contest was ultimately defined by Madison’s late-inning rally, Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s College) quietly extended his hitting streak to eight games, going 1-for-2 with a double and two walks drawn. The dual-threat outfielder/right-handed pitcher now boasts a .311 batting average, .444 on-base percentage and three stolen bases across his first 45 at-bats this summer.
  • Home Cookin’ in the ‘Pen: Justin Hill (Southeastern CC), Josh Pierce (Central Michigan), Hever Bueno (Arizona State) and Vince Arobio (Pacific) tossed five combined innings of scoreless relief in Tuesday’s victory over Green Bay. The effort lowered Madison’s bullpen earned run average to 1.38 at the Duck Pond (6 ER, 39.1 IP) this season. Overall, Mallards pitchers have now held opponents to a league-low .165 batting average at home.

As part of Wisconsin Bike Fed Bike Week, fans who ride their bike to tonight’s game will receive a free hat upon entrance to the stadium. Fritz Steinhauer will also be inducted into the Mallards Wall of Fame with the First Tee of south Central Wisconsin. For tickets to tonight’s game, call the Mallards ticket office at 608-246-4277 or visit MallardsBaseball.com.

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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 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.  For more information, visit www.MallardsBaseball.com