Latest News

Published On: July 16th, 2015

By Jake Steen:

Express players hold down first baseman Travon Benton (#33) while Daniel Jipping  (#11) dumps water on him to celebrate his winning RBI single in Eau Claire's 5-4 victory over the Mankato MoonDogs. It was their second walk-off victory in as many nights. Photo by Rachel Lacey Noll.

Photo by Rachel Lacey Noll.

Benton’s RBI single gives Eau Claire another 5-4 victory over Mankato

Box ScoreVirtual Game Day Program

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – It was déjà vu for the Eau Claire Express tonight who beat the same team by the same score at the same park for the second consecutive night. A Travon Benton single that scored Daulton Varsho in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Eau Claire Express a 5-4 victory over the Mankato MoonDogs at Carson Park.

It wasn’t looking good for Benton and company who only had two hits through five innings to start the game. But a five-hit, four-run sixth inning put the Express back in the game.

With the score tied 4-4 entering the ninth inning Daulton Varsho did the same thing he did last night and started the Express rally. He roped a double down the first base line with just one out. Two batters later, Teddy Cillis stepped up to the plate still hot off his walk-off single on Tuesday. But the MoonDogs intentionally walked him to make sure he wouldn’t repeat his heroics from the previous game.

The bases now loaded, up stepped Travon Benton and with a 1-2 count drilled the pitch right off Mankato’s first baseman, Kyle Weston’s, glove. The hit was enough to score Varsho from third and give Eau Claire their second straight walk-off win.

“I’ve never been in this situation before,” said Benton. “It’s just awesome to have a clutch hit at the very end. I’ve never had that in my life.”

Benton would finish 2-4 on the night with 2 RBI and one walk.

“The last couple weeks I haven’t been getting many big time hits,” said Benton who entered tonight with a .143 batting average. “A lot of my hits have been getting robbed so it’s awesome to get that one.”

Eau Claire put 17 runners on base tonight and Express Field Manager Dale Varsho said he is happy to see the whole lineup contributing.

“I think it’s great because it’s not the guys that are always hitting the ball. Travon came on nice today, Cillis yesterday,” said Varsho. “It’s nice to see those guys succeed right now and hopefully they just can continue it throughout the year.”

Austin Schulfer got the start for Eau Claire and pitched four innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Trent Shelton pitched five innings of relief allowing two runs himself, only one earned on four hits and four strikeouts to earn his first win of the season.

The win gives the Express their second in a row and have now been on a roll since dropping their first six games of the second half. They improve to 6-8 and 19-29 overall. Varsho said this team hasn’t counted themselves out yet.

“We have some good teams coming up right now,” said Varsho. “Hopefully they (Express players) have the confidence to come in here, know what they can do and hopefully they can play hard and just get after it.”

The home stand continues tomorrow when the Alexandria Blue Anchors come to town. Tomorrow’s game is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic and is Vic Cable Bobblehead Night. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.