Mallards Ready for Two with the Rivets

Madison, Wis. – After splitting a two-game set with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders, the Madison Mallards (10-7, 29-23) are ready for a double header with the Rockford Rivets (12-5 , 29-22). The teams will play game one in Rockford today at 11:00 AM and the second will be played at Warner Park in Madison at 7:05 PM.

The Mallards have won seven of their last ten games and are within striking distance of the division-leading Rivets who hold a two-game lead over Madison. The Mallards will need to continue to stay hot in order to make a playoff push in the season’s last few weeks.

For game one in Rockford, the Mallards will give the ball to Matt McCarty (Louisville). McCarty will be making his fourth start this season. McCarty has made nine total appearances this season and has tossed a total of 22 innings. He has struck out 18 while walking only five and has given up four earned runs. The last time McCarty faced the Rivets, he worked 3.1 scoreless innings while allowing only one hit.

To oppose McCarty, Rockford will send righty Jon Laird to the mound in game one. Laird has made ten appearances this season, two being starts, and owns a 4.06 ERA. Laird has worked 24.1 innings and has tallied nine strikeouts while walking only seven.

In the nightcap in Madison, the Mallards are scheduled to start Nate Brown (Florida). Brown has made four starts this year and owns a 2.57 ERA. Through 14 innings, Brown has struck out 17 and issued only seven walks. Brown went five scoreless innings in his last start and allowed only four hits.

Rockford will send Eil Baez to the mound for game two at Warner Park. Baez will be making only his second appearance this season. Tonight will be his first start after going two innings in a relief appearance against Lakeshore three nights ago.

Game Notes

Evenly Matched

Through six meetings this season, the Mallards are 3-3 against the Rivets. Madison batters own a .286 average against the Rivets this season and the Mallards pitching staff has a 2.93 ERA through the six games. Mallards shortstop Cole Daily (Notre Dame) owns a .393 average against Rockford and has swiped four bases.

Elite Illini

University of Illinois outfielders Zac Taylor and Doran Turchin have both been key offensive threats for the Mallards recently. Turchin scored three runs and stole a base last night and holds a .282 average this season. Taylor has been on fire lately in the Mallards two-spot as he has reached base seven times in his last three games.

Offensive Outbreak

Last night in Fond du Lac, every Mallard in the lineup recorded a hit. The bottom half of the Madison lineup were key run producers as Thomas Smart (Oakton), Andrew Baker (Florida), and Cade Bunnell (Madison College) all knocked in a pair of runs.

Starting Strong

After tallying three first inning runs last night, the Mallards have now scored in the opening frame in three straight ballgames.

Game one is scheduled to start at 11:00 AM in Rockford and game two will be set to begin at 7:05 at Warner Park in Madison. Tonight’s game at the Duck Pond features Agriculture Appreciation Night with a petting zoo. For live updates of today’s game, check out @MadisonMallards on Twitter and listen live on The Zone 1670 AM or 106.7 FM WOZN.