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Varsho leads explosive Express offense to 12-5 win

 

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

Box Score

Eau Claire, Wis.— Two four-run innings propelled the Express to a 12-5 victory to tie the four game series with the Stingers. Daulton Varsho was a perfect 3-3, with two doubles, a home run (his fifth this season), and two walks. The Express now stand at 4-2 on the season.

 

In his first start for the Express, Caleb Boushley impressed early with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first. Boushley repeated this, sending down the Stingers in order in the second inning. Despite allowing his first hit in the third, he forced Devin Foyle into a double play and struck out Billy Quirke to get out of the inning.

 

Unlike last night, it was the Express who jumped to a big lead early, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first. Stingers’ starter Bradley Bailey started the game with six straight balls, putting lead off hitter Tommy Hook on first. Varsho continued where he left off yesterday, ripping a double that barely stayed fair.

 

Tyler Jones grounded to third baseman Brian Moore in what appeared to be a routine put out, but Moore bobbled the ball then threw it over the first baseman’s head, scoring hook. Daniel Herrera joined the offensive outburst, hitting a double to center to score Varsho. Rudy Rott and Cody Bohanek added RBI singles in an impressive inning of hitting for Eau Claire with the score reading 4-0 after the first.

 

The Express would strike again in the bottom of the fifth. Varsho hit his second double of the game in the lead off spot and crossed home after a Jones’ single (his second RBI in the game). Jones would score for second on Herrera’s double off the wall in left-center field. A sharp single back up the middle off the bat of Cody Bohanek would score Herrera, pushing the lead to 8-0 after five.

 

The Stingers would finally get to Boushley in the bottom of the sixth. Foyle got aboard with a single, and a liner that dropped in front of Varsho in right field by shortstop Quincy McAfee would be enough to score Foyle. Boushley quickly closed out the inning to hold the Express lead at 8-1.

 

Joe Vranesic relieved Bailey on the mound, but quickly gave up a run to the Express. Varsho reached base for the fourth time in the game on a walk, and scored his third run of the contest from first after a throwing error from McAfee on a Jones ground out.

 

Stingers’ first baseman Greg Lambert hit a deep home run to left-center to lead off the seventh, cutting the Express lead to 9-2. Lambert’s solo shot was only second home run hit at Carson Park so far this summer. Errors plagued the Express for the rest of the seventh. Cole Gray entered the game as a pinch hitter and hit a single, but advanced to second on a throwing error by Ripken Reyes. Gray scored on an error by Sam Hurt at second base, to cut the Express lead to six.

 

UW-Lacrosse teammate Jameson Lavery would take the mound for Boushley, who finished with 7.0 innings pitched allowing three runs on six hits. Boushley earned the win in his first start for the Express, replicating the control and speed from his successful season for La Crosse.

 

Theron Kay entered the game in the bottom of the eighth, attempting to contain the Express at the plate. However, Varsho hit a three-run home run to right-center after two walks put Hook and Mickey McDonald on base. It was Varsho’s league-leading fifth home run of the season. Two singles and an error loaded the bases against Kay

 

The Express will travel to La Crosse tomorrow to take on the Loggers in a brief one-game road trip before returning to Carson Park for a three-game home stand. Brody Rodning is the probable starter for Monday night’s contest. He will look to rebound and earn his first win of the season after a tough outing against the hot-hitting Rochester Honkers team on June 1st.

 

Lavery retired the side in the eighth on just 10 pitches, but allowed a pair of Stingers runs in the ninth. However, it was not enough to close the gap. The Express won by a final score of 12-5.

 

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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 www.eauclaireexpress.com.