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Express blanked by Stingers

Eau Claire only musters three hits in defeat

Box ScoreVirtual Game Day Program

It was not an ideal return to Carson Park for the Eau Claire Express on Friday night who fell to the Willmar Stingers 9-0 to kick off a six game home stand.

The Express were only able to put six runners on base the entire game spreading out three hits and three walks. Express Field Manager Dale Varsho was not pleased with the way the Express returned home.

“We struggled on all three phases of the game,” said Varsho. “It’s one of those things where there’s a good team you can’t make mistakes yet we seem to make mistakes every game.”

Doug Still got his first start with the Express pitching 5 innings allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, however only 4 of those runs were earned. Most of the damage came from a Willmar 3-run home run in the top of the fifth inning to put them up 5-0.

Willmar’s pitcher Kiko Garcia threw 8 scoreless innings allowing only three hits and one walk to shut down the Express batters. Shortstop Kyle Marinconz had the only notable day with two of the Express’s three base hits.

“Their pitcher mixed it up pretty well and threw strikes,” said Varsho. “We had nine or ten strikeouts so you can’t win a whole lot of games with that many strikeouts.”

Miles Nablo pitched 3 innings of scoreless baseball without allowing a single hit and just one walk. But the Stingers broke open the scoring posting a crooked number on the scoreboard in the top of the ninth to make the score 9-0.

“There’s not much we can take out of this,” said Varsho. “We just got to get some confidence some way, some shape, somehow and try to figure it out.”

The Express will try to even the series with the Willmar Stingers tomorrow at Carson Park. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. The game is sponsored by Bug Eyed Betty’s and there will be a free light up baton giveaway. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and of course stick around for the Fourth of July fireworks at Carson Park starting at 10:00 p.m.