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Published On: June 2nd, 2016

It’s opening week in Wisconsin in the Northwoods League presented by Edvest

Box Score

Eau Claire, Wis.—Daulton Varsho was dialed in at the plate on Wednesday night with four hits including two home runs to lead the Express in a late rally against the Rochester Honkers. The Express overcame a four run deficit to take the lead in the ninth inning and held the narrow one-run margin to defeat the Honkers 8-7 at Mayo Field. With the win, the Express remain an undefeated 2-0 on the season.


The Express jumped on Wayne State sophomore Spencer Johnson early at Mayo Field. With two outs, Varsho proved why he was selected as the Horizon League Player of the Year, blasting a double to deep right-center. Rudy Rott opened the scoring for the Express, hitting an RBI single to score Varsho.


The Honkers replied quickly, putting two runners in scoring position for left fielder Joey Czarske. Czarske capitalized with two outs, knocking home both base runners, giving the Honkers a 2-1 lead after the first inning.


The Honkers’ bats continued to produce in the second. Three infield singles loaded the bases for Christopher Scalisi, who calmly sliced a double near the first base foul line, scoring two Honkers runners. Keaton Weisz crossed home on a ground out by Miles Lewis giving the Honkers a 5-1 lead entering the third.


Varsho continued his impressive night at the plate in the top of the third, hitting the first home run of the season for the Express. The two-run shot to left-center field scored Mickey McDonald who reached base on a leadoff single.


Houston Glad shattered the momentum for the Express in the bottom of the third with a two run double. Austin Schulfer replaced Rodning on the mound, and got out of a tough jam with two runners on base to end the third inning.


Trailing 7-3, the Express rallied behind a deep solo home run by catcher Daniel Herrera in the top of the fourth. Later in the inning, Hook drove home Cal Klipstein-Smith on a double to center and then scored on a Varsho single.


In the top of the ninth inning with the Express still down 7-6, Varsho blasted a game-tying solo home run to right field off of Honkers’ closer Tanner Schumacher. With a chance to complete the rally, Jones reached first safely on an error by Glad on a ground ball. He advanced into scoring position on a balk by Schumacher.


Rott stepped up and hammered a double to deep right field, knocking in what would prove to be the game-winning run as Jones scored from second.


Dylan Smith, the side-armer from Weatherford College, entered his second game of the season with a chance to earn the first save of the summer for the Express. Smith displayed impressive control and movement in the bottom of the ninth, striking out the side to seal the 8-7 victory for the Express and clinching the save.


Varsho went 4-5 in the game with two home runs, a double, and a single, tallying four RBI’s in the tight contest. Rott finished 2-4 with two RBI’s, including the game deciding run.


Schulfer had a spectacular night on the mound in relief, notching 10 strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched without allowing a run. The returning Express pitcher held the seemingly unstoppable Honkers to just two hits in his first appearance of the year. Schulfer was awarded the win for the Express and Schumacher was deemed the losing pitcher.


The Express completed the series sweep of the Honkers and will now travel to Willmar, Minnesota to take on the Stingers in a four game series. The first game of the series will take place tomorrow, June 2nd, at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar with first pitch scheduled at 7:05pm. Ryan Hamilton, a junior from Augustana College, is the probable starter in tomorrow’s contest. The next Express home game will be on June 4th, the third game of a four game series against the Stingers.


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Season tickets, 5-Game Packs, and single-game tickets are on sale now for Express home games. The all-new 5-Game Pack includes a reserved ticket along with food and beverage for three innings for five of the biggest promotional nights of the 2016 season all for only $45.00. All tickets can be purchased by calling the Express office at 715-839-7788 or by stopping at the downtown office at 102 E. Grand Ave.

The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2016, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 150 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.  For more information, visit