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Beckwith, Mallards Wrap Home Schedule Friday With Bombers

8-7 pre game CROPPEDMadison, Wis. (August 7)– Winners of six straight and eight of their last nine contests, field manager Donnie Scott and a sweltering Madison Mallards (21-11, 41-26) roster will look to cap their home 2015 regular-season schedule with a sweep of the visiting Battle Creek Bombers (13-21, 26-43) tonight at the Duck Pond. Entering Friday, the Mallards are two and a half games back of Kenosha for first place in the South Division’s second-half standings with four games remaining in their overall season schedule over the next three days. First pitch for tonight’s home finale is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.

After watching A.J. Bogucki (North Carolina) set the Mallards staff up for success on Thursday with three shutout innings of one-hit ball, Scott and his coaching staff will turn to Andrew Beckwith (Coastal Carolina) to provide a similar performance this evening. Friday will mark Beckwith’s ninth start of the summer on the heels of perhaps a personal-best showing August 1 against Wisconsin, a game in which he provided a season-high six strikeouts across seven one-run innings en route to a winning decision. Overall, the 6-foot-0 righty is 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA, 26:8 K/BB ratio and .272 opponent average over 44.2 frames, despite holding an 0-1 record and 7.06 ERA in three outings against Battle Creek.

Bombers field manager Robbie Robinson, who witnessed right-hander Griffin Weir (Stanford) surrender 10 runs (seven earned) to the Mallards in 0.2 frames as his starter in Thursday’s series opener, will call upon Chase Tavonatti (Salt Lake CC) to hold Madison’s bats in check as his probable starter on Friday. Tavonatti, a 6-foot-0 right-hander from West Jordan, Utah, has contributed predominantly as a bullpen arm for Battle Creek this summer, collecting an ERA of 2.79 with 17 strikeouts in 19.1 innings. His lone start transpired July 30 against Kalamazoo, tabbing four innings with one earned run allowed in a no-decision. On the road, Tavonatti has allowed opponents to hit .297 against him.

Friday’s regular-season home finale will be Charter Communications Fan Appreciation Night at the Duck Pond, with a special appearance from the ZOOperstars. Tonight will also include the final installment of the Mallards 2015 Double-Decker Pizza Bus Celebrity Chef Series, featuring Patrick DePula of Salvatore’s Tomato Pies. For tickets to Friday’s home game or potential playoff home games, call the Mallards Ticket Office at 608-246-4277 or visit www.MallardsBaseball.com. Unable to attend? Follow the Mallards on Twitter at @MadisonMallards and tune in to 100.5 FM ESPN Madison’s comprehensive play-by-play coverage of Madison’s home finale beginning at 6:45 p.m. CT.

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The Madison Mallards are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the 2 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.