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Published On: August 7th, 2014

Box Score

The old sports saying goes like this: "offense wins games, defense wins championships."

Except for the Eau Claire Express Thursday night, defense lost them the ball game.

Eau Claire committed eight errors in an 11-6 loss to the Willmar Stingers, officially ending any playoff hopes the team had.

After Willmar scored a run in the first, the Express exploded for five straight runs.

Brian Mundell hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season. His eight on the year are the highest individual season total since 2012.

But the offense wasn't done. It scored three times in the bottom of the second as Lane Milligan singled in Jack Zoellner, Mundell singled in Brady Burzynski and Peter Van Gansen scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Daniel Salters.

After that, the Express got a run in the third on an improbable play.

With Drew Turbin at third base and the Willmar pitcher delivering from the wind up, Turbin took off Jackie Robinson style and slid in just under the tag for a steal of home.

But the defense gave the lead right back, as an error in every inning but two cost the orange and black dearly.

Five of those errors came via trying to throw out a baserunner stealing.

Willmar took a 6-5 lead, but Zoellner doubled in Tyler Hermann to tie the score.

The Stingers, however, scored five times in the top of the ninth to secure the victory.

Eau Claire wraps up the season series with Willmar with a 7:05 start tomorrow at Carson Park on Fireworks Friday.