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Express tally season-high 15 hits in 9-3 victory

 

Box Score

Eau Claire, Wis.— The Express extended their winning streak to four games on a season-high 15 hits, beating the Duluth Huskies 9-3. Aaron Shortridge maintained his undefeated 3-0 record this season, and the offense ran on all cylinders to clinch the 10th win of the season for the Express in the sweep at Wade Stadium.

 

Duluth got on the scoreboard first in Wednesday night’s game that was delayed by 30 minutes due to rain. Daniel Amaral hit a lead off double in his debut for the Huskies. Daniel Garnder drove in Amaral on a sacrifice fly to right field, giving the Huskies a 1-0 lead after one inning. Amaral would continue to be a thorn in Express starter Shortridge’s side, hitting a two-out triple in the third inning. However, Shortridge rebounded and induced a pop-up to end the inning without any runs allowed.

 

The Express tied the game in the top of the fourth on three consecutive singles. Mickey McDonald led off the inning with a sharp single on the first pitch he saw, and Austin Guzzo ripped his first hit for the Express to send McDonald to third. Daniel Herrera would knock in his seventh RBI of the season off of Huskies pitcher Dan Loats, to level the score at 1-1.

 

Cody Bohanek gave the Express a lead with a sacrifice fly, scoring Guzzo from third and advancing Herrera to third. Herrera would score on an RBI single off the bat of Ripken Reyes. Ben Mezzenga continued his impressive season at the plate, lining a triple to the wall at Wade Stadium, scoring Reyes from first base. Zach Ashford capped off the scoring with an RBI single to extend the Express lead to 5-1.

 

Guzzo continued his strong debut for Eau Claire with an RBI single in the top of the fifth. With one out, McDonald drew a walk, then stole his fourth base of the season to get into scoring position. Guzzo lined a hit right back up the middle of the infield, scoring the speedy McDonald from second to give the Express a five run lead.

 

With Trevino Rodriguez in on the mound for the Huskies, Eau Claire added three runs in the top of the seventh. Michael Hicks had a lead off single in a pinch-hitting appearance, and singles by McDonald and Herrera loaded the bases for Bohanek. Hicks scored on a wild pitch, then Bohanek drove a deep two-RBI single to give the Express a 9-1 advantage.

 

After allowing a run in the first, Shortridge pitched a gem through six innings. Heading into the seventh, Shortridge had allowed only three hits and one run. The Huskies tagged the right-hander from the University of California for a second run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI triple by Justin Ambrosino, scoring Dillon Paulson from first. Duluth added a third run on another RBI triple off the bat of Carter Hanford, cutting the Express lead to 9-3.

 

The seventh inning would be Shortridge’s last, finishing the strong outing with three runs allowed on just five hits, while striking out four Huskies. Shortridge earned his team leading third win of the season in three starts, in what has been an impressive first few weeks in Eau Claire. Kenny Ogg replaced Shortridge and sealed the victory without allowing a run in two innings pitched.

 

Herrera sparked the Express performance at the plate, finishing the game 4-5 with four singles, two runs, and an RBI. Bohanek had three RBI’s on one hit, and McDonald scored three times in the 9-3 victory.

 

The Express will return home to Carson Park tomorrow night to take on the Green Bay Bullfrogs at 6:35p.m., looking to extend their winning streak to five games. Dalton Roach will take the mound for his second start of the season after an 18 strikeout, eight-inning shutout performance on opening night against the Rochester Honkers.

 

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.