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Express bats come up short again

Box Score

For the second straight night, the Eau Claire Express got on the board early and finished strong.

And for the second straight night, a lapse in the middle innings made for a narrow defeat to the Waterloo Bucks with Thursday's contest coming in a 5-4 loss in front of 1,328 fans at Carson Park.

Eau Claire got two runs in the bottom of the first after Brady Burzynski scored on an errand throw from both the pitcher and centerfielder on a pickoff attempt to second as well as an RBI groundout from Drew Turbin to score Mike Porcaro.

But seven innings went by without another run, giving the Bucks time to take a 5-2 lead, one they would hold on to for the win.

"We've had some pretty good opportunities to put the ball in play and we haven't," Field Manager Dale Varsho said.

Waterloo chipped away and scored one in the second, two in the fifth and one in both the sixth and seventh innings and relied on starter Cody Sedlock the rest of the way. Sedlock went 6.2 innings, only allowing the two runs and striking out nine.

But the Express came back once again, plating two in the bottom of the eighth off an RBI triple from Turbin to score Tyler Hermann. Turbin came around to score on an RBI double from Brent Gibbs, who had the only multi-hit game for Eau Claire.

That was all they could get, however, as Bucks' closer Adam Dian closed the door for the second straight night.

The Express bullpen has been keeping the team in games late, and tonight was no exception. In three innings of relief for starter CJ Eldred, the combination Brett Seeburger and Eric Gleese went three innings while allowing only one run and striking out four.

"Our bullpen's pretty solid," Varsho said. "You could name any of them, they've all been pretty solid and keeping us in ball games, we just have to do a better job offensively."

The offense will try and get it going tomorrow against the St. Cloud Rox. It is a Fireworks Friday night at Carson Park as well as a Pre-Planned Funeral Giveaway sponsored by Evergreen Funeral Home. FIrst pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.