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Published On: July 10th, 2016


Box Score

Eau Claire, Wis.—  Casey Moses hit a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Duluth Huskies to end Eau Claire’s winning streak at seven. The Huskies rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to beat the First Half North Division Champions 9-8 at Wade Stadium in Duluth.


The Express threatened to jump out to a large lead early in the game, loading the base with two outs in the top of the first inning. Three straight walks to Austin Guzzo, Alex McKenna, and Jared Mang put ducks on the pond for freshman All-American Rudy Rott. Rott continued last night’s dominant batting performance, ripping a single to score two runs. Kyle Marinconz got his sixth hit in the two-game series with a two-run double to give the Express a 4-0 lead. Marinconz would score on a Sam Hurt single, the fifth run to cross home plate in the first inning.


Duluth fought back in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs to cut the deficit to 5-2 heading to the fourth inning. Matt Brown broke up Express starter Michael Gomez’s no-hitter with a single to right field. Brendan McClary followed up with a single of his own, and Liam Sabino reached after being hit by a pitch. Dillon Paulson laced a two-run single to left field scoring Brown and McClary.


Mitch Reeves sparked another one-out rally in the bottom of the fourth, ripping a single off a hanging Gomez breaking ball. Reeves would score all the way from first on a Brown double off the fence in right center field. Sabino would drive in the second run of the inning on an RBI double to score Brown, cutting Eau Claire’s lead to 5-4 after four innings of play at Wade Stadium.


The Express retook a convincing lead in the top of the sixth, scoring three runs against reliever Trevino Rodriguez. Hurt hit a one-out single, and Ripken Reyes got aboard after drawing a walk. Mickey McDonald capitalized hit a ringing triple to the wall in right-center, clearing the bases to give the Express a 7-4 lead. Cody Bohanek added another run on his second opposite field single to score McDonald from third.


With reliever Brett Steinwagner dealing on the hill for the Express, the Huskies scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Eau Claire lead to 8-5. Two walks and a wild pitch gave Duluth two runners in scoring position. One run came in on a Steinwagner balk, his first of the season.


Johnathon Tripp would enter the game for Steinwagner who was able to retire just one Duluth batter. Tripp walked the first batter he faced with the bases loaded, sending the second run of the inning home. Jake Pries hit a single between the Express shortstop and third baseman, driving in another run to narrow the gap to just one run. Tripp forced a double play to end the inning, but not before the Huskies were able to cut the Express lead to 8-7 heading to the final third of the game.


The Huskies tied the game at eight in the bottom of the eighth inning on a Tripp wild pitch. Sabino and Paulson each hit a single, putting runners on the corners with one out in the inning. Tripp struck out Pries swinging, but the pitch was in the dirt and reached the backstop to score the speedy Sabino. Tripp tallied his third strikeout of the inning, fanning pinch hitter Bart In Deen Kleff to prevent Duluth from seizing a late lead.


Quentin Longrie pitched his second inning of shut out baseball in the ninth, giving his team a shot at a walk off winner in the final inning of regulation. Longrie struck out three Eau Claire batters, allowing three hits without a run crossing the plate.


The Huskies loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with a chance to win their first game of their six game home stand against the Express. A dropped fly ball at second base allowed Reeves to reach, McClary got his second hit of the night, and Brown walked to put the player of the game Sabino at the plate with the opportunity to seal a win. Reliever Dylan Smith fanned Sabino with three pitches, needing just one out to send the game to extras. Casey Moses lined a single to right field, scoring Reeves in a walk off win for Duluth.


Smith was credited with the loss, and Longrie picked up the win in the thrilling conclusion. Rott, Marinconz, and McDonald all had two RBI’s in the game, but the offense was not enough to halt a late comeback by the Huskies.


The Express will travel to Waterloo, Iowa for a 3:35 p.m. matinee game tomorrow afternoon as Eau Claire seeks restart their winning streak against the Bucks.. Ryan Hamilton will start for the Express, looking to repeat the best performance of his Express career last week. In his last start on July 3rd, Hamilton threw a six-inning shut out in a key game in pursuing the North Division title for the first half of the season. Hamilton is 3-3 this year on the rubber, with a 4.50 ERA in six starts this season.


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.