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Lakeland University Postgame Recap: Express Pitching Falters in Loss to Larks

Box Score

Bismarck, ND – For the second night in a row, one difficult inning leads the Express to falter. Ultimately, the Eau Claire Express (0-2) could not overcome early struggles and lose to the Bismarck Larks (2-0) by a final score of 14-4.

After quick and scoreless 1st and 2nd innings, the Express jumped on the board with a three-run top of the 3rd inning. Sam Stonskas (Blackhawk CC) started the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second base on a throwing error. Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) singled to move Stonskas to third. Nick Lopez (Illinois-Chicago) drove the two base runners in with a 2 RBI single to right. Lopez would later score on an RBI ground out hit by Sam Kohnle (Winona State).

After taking the lead, the Express pitching staff struggled in the bottom half of the 3rd inning. Graham Laubscher (St Thomas) cruised through the first two innings but could not fool the Larks lineup the second time through the order. Seven runs scored in the half inning, including a two-run home run by Bismarck’s shortstop. The Larks bats weren’t done yet and put two more runs on the board in the 4th and one more run in the 6th. Leading 10-3 in the 7th inning, the Larks put the game away when catcher Brody Tanksley hit the first grand slam in Bismarck Larks history, powering the score to 14-3.

Still trying to rally, the Express scored one run in the top half of the 9th. Beilsmith singled to reach first then advanced to second and to third on a wild pitch. Kohnle dropped a single into right field to plate the run and complete the games scoring at 14-4.

Express starter, Laubscher went 3 IP and gave up 7 earned runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 3. Kuster Kinlecheenie (Montevallo) entered for one inning, allowing 2 runs to score on a hit and three walks. Matt Verdun (Lewis) made his second appearance of the season in as many games. Verdun moved from DH to the mound in the 5th and allowed one run in two innings. Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) got his first Northwoods League pitching experience and finished the last two innings of the game for the Express. He gave up four runs on the Bismarck grand slam and recorded a strikeout.

The Express will continue their trip in Bismarck with the third game of the series tomorrow night at 7:05 pm. Eau Claire will return home to Carson Park on Saturday, June 1st at 7:05. Join us for a magnetic schedule giveaway, Strike Out Stroke, and post-game fireworks! Tickets are available online and by calling the Express at 715-839-7788.

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The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). 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.