Express Mount Late Rally, Still Fall 10-5 to Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay, ON- Down 10-2 in the top of the ninth after a lengthy rain delay interrupted play in Thunder Bay (7-13), the Express (6-12) drove in three runs to make it 10-5 before finally succumbing to defeat.
Although the team showed signs of life in the ninth, this game was lost by the Express in the bottom of the eighth inning when the Border Cats turned their one-run lead into an eight-run lead in a nightmare frame for Eau Claire. Thunder Bay needed just three hits to score seven runs (four of which came on a Kevin Biondic grand slam), as the Express committed two errors, issued two walks, hit a batter, and allowed two passed balls in the inning.
The man on the mound in that inning for Eau Claire, Josh Gaworski, saw nine runs cross the plate in his two innings pitched on the night, with just two of those runs being recorded as earned. Gaworski was charged with the loss after he entered this one with a 2-1 lead in the seventh following Chase Dreger's excellent six-inning, one-run outing.
Eau Claire outfielder Zach Gilles got back into the swing of things by reaching base three times on a couple of singles and a drawn walk. The freshman out of Central Michigan has been a machine at the top of the order for the Express since joining the active roster, with this afternoon's performance raising his seasonal on-base percentage to .569
The Express will be back at Carson Park Monday night to face the La Crosse Loggers for the first time this season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM, and gates will open an hour before then.
The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.eauclaireexpress.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Express as your favorite team.