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Published On: June 24th, 2016

Box Score


Eau Claire, Wis.—A season-high six-run inning gave the Express a lead in the eighth, and Eau Claire held on through the final two innings to seal an 12-7 victory. Eau Claire has won three straight games, improving to 15-8 this season. Cody Bohanek had four RBI’s in the game while scoring three times, with Dylan Smith earning his first win of the year in relief.


Cody Bohanek put the Express on the board in the top of the second, hitting a two RBI single with two outs in the inning. Rudy Rott was hit by a pitch to begin the two out rally, and made it to third on a double by catcher Daniel Herrera. Bohanek picked up his 12th and 13th RBI’s on the single to shallow right field, giving the Express an early 2-0 lead.


In his first start for Eau Claire this season, Michael Gomez impressed on the mound early. After a one-two-three inning in the first, Gomez worked out of a jam with two Thunder Bay base runners, tallying a key strikeout and fly out to hold the Border Cats off the clock.


Bohanek continued his strong evening at the plate with two more RBI’s in the top of the third inning. With Jared Mang on third after a lead off double and Rott’s second hit-by-pitch of the game, Bohanek hit a deep double to the outfield fence to extend the Express lead to four runs.


Gomez got out of another tough situation in the bottom of the fourth after three walks put Thunder Bay runners in threatening positions. A heads up play by Herrera at the plate resulted in an out at the plate on an attempted steal preserved a shut out for Gomez. His outing on the hill would be done after the fourth inning, allowing no runs on two hits and five walks and fanning three Thunder Bay hitters.


Thunder Bay scored three runs against reliever Johnathon Tripp in the bottom of the fifth inning. Following singles by Andy Weber and Mitch Bigras, Joe Gellenbeck drove in the Border Cats’ first run of the night on an RBI single. Bigras would scamper home in the next at bat on a wild pitch from Tripp. Anthony Brocato would cap the scoring in the inning with an RBI double, cutting the Express lead to 4-3 heading to the sixth.


Andrew Fregia hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Bigras for the second time in the game to level the game at 4-4. Thunder Bay would take the lead in the next at bat, when Brocato added his second RBI of the game to score Gellenbeck. Tripp struggled with his control in the inning, walking two batters to keep the rally alive for the Border Cats. Dylan Smith entered the game for Tripp, striking out the lone batter he faced in the inning to limit the damage to two runs.


The Express leveled the score in the top of the eighth, with Rott reaching base on a walk and advancing on a Herrera single, his second hit of the night. Rott scored on a Jordan Gillerman throwing error, that put Herrera on third and allowed Bohanek (who hit the ground ball) to scamper to second. Ripken Reyes continued his strong performance in yesterday’s game, driving a two-RBI single to retake the lead, 7-5, for the Express. Kyle Marinconz drove in the fourth run of the inning on a ground ball out that scored Reyes from third base. Daulton Varsho extended the lead with a monstrous solo shot to deep right, his league-leading eighth home run of the season to give Eau Claire a 9-5 advantage.


With two outs and the bases empty, Austin Guzzo lined a double into the outfield at Tbaytel Park. Mang got his first RBI of the game, hitting a single that scored Guzzo for the second time in the contest, extending the Border Cats’ deficit to five runs. The six-run inning was the highest scoring offensive inning for the Express this season, retaking the lead by a substantial margin.


Thunder Bay narrowed the gap to 10-7 in the bottom of the eighth after Smith issued two walks to put runners in threatening positions. Gellenbeck drove in one run on an RBI single, and a second run crossed the plate for the Border Cats on a throwing error by Mang.


The Express added two runs to their lead in the top of the ninth. Bohanek hit a sharp grounder to the second baseman, but a throwing error allowed him to advance to second. Zach Ashford hit a soft fly ball that landed in short left field to score Bohanek. Ashford scored on a double off the bat of Varsho.


Christian Tripp preserved the Express lead, allowing one hit and no runs with one strikeout in one inning pitched. Smith was the winning pitcher in the contest, and Seth Gill got the lost for Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay fell to 1-21 on the season, while the Express are now 15-8 and have a three game winning streak.


The Express will have a rematch against the Thunder Bay Border Cats tomorrow night at 6:05p.m. Central Time. Austin Schulfer is scheduled to take the mound, looking increase his team-leading strikeout total (which is the second best in the Northwoods Leauge) and earn his second win of the season in four starts.


Season tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now for Express home games. 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, 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 portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Express as your favorite team.