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Published On: June 22nd, 2015

Timely hits, solid pitching gives Eau Claire back-to-back wins

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There was no hit parade on Sunday night but two big timely hits lifted the Eau Claire Express to a 5-1 win over the St. Cloud Rox at Carson Park in game one of a two game series.

The Express finished with 6 hits and only had 3 through the first seven innings but were able to lead for the majority of the game. A two-out, 3 RBI double for left fielder Joe Gillette gave the Express a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning and they never looked back.

“When it’s only your second hit of the ball game and you get 3 RBIs it’s a big deal,” said Express Field Manager Dale Varsho. “He had been struggling a little bit at the plate too so that was great to see.”

Eau Claire was able to add two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning from right fielder Tyler Adkison who roped a 2 RBI double to right field which put the Express up 5-1.

CJ Eldred got the start for the Express and earned the win, pitching 4.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and just 1 run on 1 walk and 3 strikeouts. Erich Ulemen came in to pitch relief and made his first appearance with the Express one to remember as he locked down the Rox lineup for 3.2 innings giving up only 2 hits.

Victor Sanchez pitched the ninth inning to earn the save for Eau Claire by striking out the side to end the game. Varsho said that he feels strong about his bullpen as more players are arriving now that most college seasons are over.

“Erich is going to be good,” said Varsho. “Our bullpen has gotten a lot stronger these last couple of days so it will be a lot of fun to see what they all come out with.”

The win marks the second in a row for Eau Claire and improves their record to 11-15. The home stand continues tomorrow with game 2 against the St. Cloud Rox starting at 6:35 p.m. That game is sponsored by WQOW TV-18 and there will be a flat screen TV drawing as well as a Noah’s Ark Waterpark drawing.

“These guys are great, they all compete,” said Gillette. “Let’s see if we can keep stringing some wins together.”