Big hits, strong pitching give Eau Claire sweep of Honkers
Box Score – Virtual Game Day Program
The bats came alive on Wednesday night as the Eau Claire Express earned their second straight win and a sweep of the Rochester Honkers with an 8-1 victory at Carson Park.
It was a pitcher’s duel for the majority of the game until the Honkers jumped on top first with a solo home run off Express starter Austin Schulfer in the top of the sixth inning to take a 1-0 lead.
The Express then busted open the scoring plating three runs in the bottom of the sixth. A wild pitch scored second baseman Sam Hurt to tie the game at one run a piece. After two more base hits a Kyle Marinconz double would plate two more runs and give the Express a 3-1 lead.
The rout was on when left fielder Joe Gillette drilled a grand slam home run with the bases loaded to put the Express up six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Brady Burzynski would add one more in the inning with an RBI triple to make it 8-1.
“It felt great,” said Gillette of his grand slam in the eighth. “He threw me a fastball that was middle in, just what I was looking for so it felt great.”
Austin Schulfer pitched well to earn the win, giving up just one run on seven hits in six innings pitched. Dalton Roach came in for relief allowing just one hit over three innings to earn the three inning save. After snapping a six game losing streak last night, Gillette said he can sense his team putting something together.
“We went through that streak of the loses and finally everybody got fed up with it and wanted to feel the wins,” said Gillette. “We’re really coming together, starting to swing it well. Were just getting hot right now so we got to keep it going.”
The Express improve to 2-6 in the second half of Northwoods League play. They head on the road for five games starting in Mankato tomorrow. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. The Express return home to Carson Park next Tuesday for a five game homestand. That game is sponsored by Novo Nordisk and there will be a sunscreen, sport bottle, and jump rope giveaway.
“You hope that we have a pretty good opportunity to build off of this,” said Express Field Manager Dale Varsho. “Just to go on the road and try to have some enthusiasm and some energy