By this point, the entire Northwoods League knows the hottest team in the North is the Eau Claire Express.
But perhaps not as obvious is one of the hottest hitters in the league suits up for the orange and black, Jeff Hendrix.
The Oregon State outfielder picked up three hits and five RBI, including his third home run since Monday, to lead the Express to a sixth-straight win overall with an 11-inning, 8-5 victory against the host Thunder Bay Border Cats Thursday at Tbaytel Park.
After going down 1-0 early, Eau Claire scored three in the top of the second after Hendrix ripped a double to score Drew Turbin and Brian Mundell with the bases loaded. A batter later, Brady Burzynski grounded out to score Jack Zoellner.
The Border Cats held a 4-3 in the top of the sixth, but Mike Porcaro scored on a wild pitch to tie it up. The score would remain 4-4 until the top of the 11th inning.
Brent Gibbs, coming in a pinch-hit role, singled in Turbin to give the Express a one-run lead.
Two batters later, Hendrix stepped the plate.
Down 0-2 in the count, Hendrix battled back to 1-2 before launching his third home run in four games to completely break the game open.
Eau Claire would give up a run in the bottom of the 11th, but Hendrix's insurance proved to be the difference.
The Express bullpen was phenomenal all night. Aron McRee relieved starter Peter Hendron in the top of the sixth and pitched three scoreless innings while Taylor Duree allowed one solo home run in the bottom of the 11th to ruin what too would have been three scoreless frames.
Duree earned the victory in the contest. He struck out three over the course of those three inning pitched.
The Express will look to go for seven in a row tomorrow as they play the Border Cats at 6:05 p.m. CT once again at Tbaytel Park.