Virtual Game Day Program
Eau Claire, Wis.— After loading the bases with two walks and a Daniel Herrera single in the bottom of the 11th, Mitch Stalsberg threw a wild pitch that scored the game-winning run, Mickey McDonald, from third. The extra innings, 4-3 victory improved the Express record to 5-3 this season. Austin Schulfer pitched seven shut out innings against the Loggers, holding La Crosse to just three hits. Schulfer added ten strikeouts in his first start of the season.
Schulfer carried over his impressive pitching from his five-inning relief appearance early in the season into his first start of the season, sending the Loggers down in order in the first. Schulfer was unhittable in the first three innings, striking out four Loggers’ batters. He allowed his first hit of the contest on a bunt single in the top of the fourth by Garret Zech and the Loggers continued their game plan, as second baseman Casey Danley also reached base on a bunt single. Schulfer rebounded quickly, holding the Loggers from putting a run on the scoreboard by retiring the side.
The Loggers would have another chance to break the shutout in the fifth inning, with runners on first and third after two walks. Schulfer tallied his eighth strike out of the night on Mason McCoy, last year’s Northwoods League MVP, to end the inning unharmed.
Alex Shake was also locked in on the mound through the first five innings, allowing just four hits and zero runs to the Express batters who struggled against Loggers’ starter Nelson Martz in last night’s 8-1 loss. Catcher Daniel Herrera lined a double down the first base line in the second, but was caught in a double steal attempting to score a run later in the inning.
Herrera would threaten again with two outs in the fourth, hitting an opposite field single to advance Tyler Jones to third, who also reached on a single. Shake was able to pitch out the jam with runners at the corners, forcing a lineout to first base by hot-hitting Rudy Rott.
Connor Wollersheim would enter the game in the top of the sixth with two runners on after Shake hit two batters to start the inning. A Jones sacrifice bunt would advance both runners into scoring position, and Wollersheim walked Cody Bohanek to load the bases for Rudy Rott. Rott finally broke the 0-0 tie with an RBI single that dropped in front of Griffon Conine in left.
Right-hander Johnathon Tripp would enter the game in relief for Schulfer after seven shut out innings on the mound. Schulfer finished his night having struck out 10 Loggers’ batters, allowing three hits and no runs. Tripp had a strong inning in the eighth, preserving the shut out for the Express while allowing just one single.
Dylan Smith allowed a double to Kevin Collard, then put Luis Trevino on first with a HBP. Conine hit a deep triple off the wall in right center, scoring both runners to give the Loggers a 2-1 lead. Conine scored on a two-out double by McCoy, extending the lead to two runs.
The Express will remain at Carson Park for tomorrow night’s 6:35pm contest against the St. Cloud Rox. The Rox hold a 4-4 record, with a 14-0 victory over Duluth Huskies yesterday afternoon. Ryan Hamilton will take the mound, hoping to rebound from a tough outing against the Willmar Stingers last week.
Chris Boettcher entered the game seeking to earn a save, but was quickly taken out after allowing two walks to start the bottom of the ninth. Zach Ashford laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving both runners into scoring position. Daulton Varsho scored one run, reaching first on an error by the Loggers’ first baseman. Mickey McDonald would score the equalizer in the bottom of the ninth on a ground out by Jones.
Stalsberg allowed McDonald to first on a walk, then hit Ashford with the second pitch in his at-bat to put two runners on in the bottom of the 11th. Herrera loaded the bases with a two-out single. On the first pitch of the next at-bat with Rudy Rott, Stalberg threw a wild-pitch that made it passed Trevino, scoring McDonald from third to seal the walk off win.
Kenny Ogg was the winning pitcher for the Express, and Stalsberg was given the loss. Ogg did not allow a hit in two innings, earning his first victory in his second appearance out of the bullpen this season. McDonald finished the game 0-3, but had three runs and scored two runs including the game-winner in the 11th.
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.