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Mallards Battle Bombers to Open Weekend Home-Stand

7-11 pre game CROPPEDMadison, Wis. (July 11) – Splitting a key home-and-away series with the Kenosha Kingfish (9-2, 32-15) to enter the weekend, field manager Donnie Scott and the Madison Mallards (6-3, 26-18) will look to carry their momentum into Saturday’s contest with the Battle Creek Bombers (2-8, 15-30) at the Duck Pond. Tonight’s game will be first of a two-game home set for Madison against Battle Creek between Saturday and Sunday. First pitch for the series opener is set for 6:05 p.m.

On Friday, the Mallards came out on the short end of a 14-5 final score against the Kingfish at Simmons Field. The game was not without its high points for Madison, however. Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s College) plated two runners, scored twice and clubbed his Northwoods League-leading tenth home run of the season. Jean Ramirez (Illinois State) posted his fourth straight game with at least two hits and Scott Tyler (Ball State) doubled to raise his slugging percentage to .514.

After watching Nick Gruener (Harvard) allow four runs over 2.2 innings en route to a losing decision on Friday, the Mallards will turn to Nate Hoffmann (Middle Tennessee State) to provide a strong outing tonight against the Bombers. Hoffmann, a 6-foot-2 right-hander from Sun Prairie, Wis., enters tonight’s contest on the heels of allowing nine runs in 1.1 innings July 5 at Alexandria. Overall, Hoffmann sports a 5.32 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 17:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio across six starts this summer, and despite a rough start last time out, has held opponents to a mere .245 batting average.

Battle Creek will counter Hoffmann with left-handed pitcher Jordan Knutson (Missouri State) in tonight’s series opener. Knutson, a 6-foot-0 southpaw from Lee Summit, Mo., carries an 0-2 record and 4.80 ERA across three starts (15 IP) into Saturday’s contest, including a 12:3 strikeout-to-walk margin and .313 opponent batting average. Knutson received a no-decision in his latest outing on July 4 at Waterloo, relinquishing four runs – two earned – on five hits and two walks over five innings. Collegiately, he went 6-2 with a 3.16 ERA and .251 opponent average in 88.1 innings this spring.

  • Matchup History – After splitting a two-game series at C.O. Brown Stadium last month, tonight will mark the third of eight total matchups between Madison and Battle Creek during the 2015 regular season. Overall, the Mallards have gone 14-6 (.700) in 20 regular-season contests with the Bombers under Donnie Scott (since 2013).
  • Double the Trouble – Going yard for the tenth time on Friday, Anthony Gonsolin became the first player in the Northwoods League to reach the double-digit plateau in both home runs (10) and stolen bases (11) in 2015. Gonsolin, who also ranks among the league’s top-ten in batting average (.336), home runs and runs batted in (31), is the first Mallards hitter since Tyler Marincov in 2012 (13 HR, 24 SB) to accomplish the impressive feat.

Tonight’s contest will be Dane County Regional Airport Who Knew? Night at Warner Park, featuring an appearance by Who Knew? host Michael Feldman, who will be available for fan autographs and pictures pre-game and will throw out a ceremonial first pitch. For tickets, call the Mallards ticket office at 608-246-4277 or visit www.MallardsBaseball.com for more information. Unable to attend? Follow the Mallards on Twitter (@MadisonMallards) or catch 100.5 FM ESPN Madison’s comprehensive play-by-play coverage.

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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.