Hermann’s big night leads to third straight win
In physics term, momentum is defined by the force of something caused by motion.
Eau Claire Express third baseman Tyler Hermann played scientist Monday night at Carson Park, bringing great defensive plays with him to the plate in a 3-2 Express win over the Alexandria Blue Anchors.
Hermann, the former Eau Claire North hero, made a diving catch in foul territory in the top of the sixth to draw a thunderous ovation from the 1,010 fans present. In the bottom of the seventh, he used that force to motion the Express into the lead with a clutch RBI single scoring Tyler Jones and complete the comeback win.
"I’m just a high-energy guy," Hermann said. “It’s just a great team win, it’s always fun to go up there with that momentum with that next at bat.”
He's also discovered a big secret to hitting in the Northwoods League. After getting zero hits in the first two games, Hermann has collected seven over the past five and is now hitting .280 on the young season.
“I’m just trying to slow down the game," Hermann said. "It’s a fastball league, just trying to put small and easy swings on it.”
But more importantly for the Express, it's another win in the column, their fifth in seven tries this season to keep them on top of the North Division.
Four of those wins, including tonight, have been come-from-behind wins, and with just one home run on the year, it has been about pitching and defense for the Express.
Another errorless night gave the team a win that, by a quick look at the boxscore, might indicate otherwise.
“Things happen," Field Manager Dale Varsho said. "I’m not real sure what’s happening. We make some good plays, Hermann had a great game, good defense. Overall, we just keep on scrapping.”
It was another great night of pitching for Eau Claire, and it all started with Ian Doughty. The Pepperdine freshman went six innings and gave up just one run on three hits with five strikeouts in the no-decision.
“Ian’s been really, really good," Varsho said. "He mixes up his fastball from 88-92, keeps them off balance. He’s someone who knows how to pitch a game.”
After that, Ryan Boelter gave up the lead, 2-1, in the top of the seventh, but Brady Burzynski's dash home on a wild pitch and Hermann's RBI single gave him the win. Miles Nablo closed out and pitched two spotless innings for the Express.
Eau Claire scored its first run on a Brian Sicher sacrifice fly scoring Hermann in the bottom of the fourth.
It doesn't have to be pretty, it has to be efficient, and that's exactly what the Eau Claire Express are doing in the midst of this red-hot start to the season.
“Keep grinding and keep playing until the last out, and it just happens to be positive for us right now,” Hermann said.
The Express look for a second-consecutive sweep tomorrow, as they play Alexandria again starting at 6:35 p.m. at Carson Park.