For eight innings Saturday night, the Eau Claire Express couldn't figure out the St. Cloud Rox pitching staff in any way, shape or form.
For the last inning, they could, putting up two runs and burning through three St. Cloud pitchers.
But the rally fell just short as Rox' closer Trevor Charpie got a strikeout to strand the bases loaded, resulting in a 3-2 loss for the Express in front of 2,553 fans at Carson Park.
St. Cloud starter Reese Gregory, who came into the game with a dazzling 0.45 ERA, went 6.1 innings while allowing just one hit and striking out six.
In that time, his Rox grabbed two runs in the third before tacking on an insurance run in the ninth.
But just like the night before, the Express bats came alive in the bottom of the ninth.
Mike Porcaro walked, Daniel Salters was hit by a pitch, but two outs loomed large on the board.
In his starting debut, Brian Mundell kept the inning alive by lacing a single to center to score Porcaro, and in the next at bat, Jack Zoellner ripped a single in the same location to score Salters.
Brady Burzynski walked to load the bases, but after a long battle, Peter Van Gansen looked at a pitch on the inside corner to end the game.
Eann Cox was sensational on the mound for the Express in relief, going five innings without allowing a hit or a run and striking out five. He was named the Marshfield Clinic Player of the Night.
The Express go on the road next to face the Thunder Bay Border Cats for a two-game stint in Canada Sunday and Monday before returning home for a brief one-game home and home series with the Rochester Honkers. First pitch Sunday at Thunder Bay is 4:05 CT.