McGuiggan and Cardenas Carry Express
Eau Claire 9, Rochester 1
The Eau Claire Express are the 2010 Northwoods League Champions! The Express used a clutch performance from hot-hitting Steve McGuiggan (Illinois-Chicago) and left handed pitcher Felix Cardenas (Texas Permian Basin). McGuiggan, a speedy center fielder, was 3-for-4 on the afternoon with four RBI. Cardenas earned the win thanks to a five-hitter thru 7.0 scoreless innings.
McGuiggan got the scoring started as he hit a line-drive home run to left field off Honker starting pitcher Josh McKeon (Upper Iowa) to take a 2-0 lead. The 5’11’’ righty from Apple Valley, MN again blasted a two-run homer scoring Drew Heithoff (Augustana) to take a 4-0 advantage. McGuiggan not only had a great afternoon at the plate, but showed off his arm as well. He threw out Andrew Mendenhall (Oregon) at home in the top of the 5th as the Honkers were about to score their 1st run of the game.
As good as McGuiggan was for the Express, starting pitcher Felix Cardenas was just as impressive. The lefty only allowed five hits thru 7.0 scoreless innings to a Honker offense who exploded for 11 runs on Saturday night. Cardenas earns his 6th win of the season and 1st of the 2010 NWL Playoffs.
Every Express batter registered a hit on the night with leadoff hitter and Eau Claire native Nolan Fadness (Wisconsin Oshkosh) going 2-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored. The NWL best hitter, Drew Heithoff, was 3-for-4 on the afternoon with two runs scored and a RBI.
Richie Jimenez (UNLV) was 2-for-3 in the loss for the Honkers who completed a very impressive season. The Honkers finished the season with a 39-31 record and reached the NWL Championship for the 2nd consecutive year.
Thanks to all the great NWL fans that came out to one of the 16 parks in the NWL. It was a great 2010 season filled with many great baseball games and memories. Follow www.northwoodsleague.com for NWL information throughout the off-season.