Eau Claire, WI –The Eau Claire Express (5-7) fought a tough offensive battle against the Waterloo Bucks (6-6). The Express would eventually outlast the Bucks for a 13-12 Eau Claire victory.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap: The scoring began in the 2nd inning for the Express. The seven-run inning saw the Express bring eleven batters to the plate. Reid Bass (Cumberland) began with a double. Boone Montgomery reached on a hit by pitch but was quickly eliminated during the next at bat as he was the out when Adam Krajewski hit a fielder’s choice. Sam Kohnle (Winona State) launched a three-run shot over the left field wall, his first home run of the season. Sam Stonskas (Blackhawk CC) continued the inning with a single and Avery Lehman (St. Thomas) was hit by a pitch. After Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) walked to load the bases, Matt Bottcher (Illinois-Chicago) hit a sacrifice fly to score Stonskas and move Lehman to third base. Phillip Sikes (Pima CC) slashed a 2 RBI double to score both Beilsmith and Lehman. Sikes would come around to score the 7th run of the inning on Reid Bass’s second double of the inning.
Two more runs were tacked on in the bottom of the 4th inning for the Express. Beilsmith walked and advanced to third on a Bottcher single. Sikes drove Beilsmith in on an RBI single and Bass hit a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Bottcher to cross home.
After the Bucks scored 6 runs in the top of the 5th inning, the Express responded with a 4 run bottom of the half. Lehman singled and Beilsmith was hit by a pitch. Bottcher doubled to score Lehman and put both himself and Beilsmith in scoring position. Sikes walked to load the bases. Bass quickly cleared the bases with a two out triple that gave the Express a 13-6 lead.
The Bucks continued to fight back, scoring four runs in the 7th and two runs in the 8th. But their rally efforts would come just short with the final of 13-12.
Graham Laubscher (St. Thomas) was first on the mound for the Express and tossed a solid five innings. He cruised through the first four innings but ran into a bit of trouble in the 5th. He ended giving up 6 runs, 5 earned, on four hits and five walks. He struck out six. Kuster Kinlecheenie (Montevallo) entered for 1.1 innings of relief. He allowed four runs on two hits and four walks. Nick Herold (Winona State) closed the final 2.2 innings and earned the save for the Express. He allowed two runs on one hit and one walk.
The Express continue their homestand on Sunday afternoon, welcoming the Thunder Bay Border Cats. First pitch is slated for 2:05 pm and all youth under the age of 18 will receive a free general admission ticket to the game! Youth can receive their ticket at the Carson Park Ticket Booth were adult tickets will also be available for purchase. All fans in attendance will receive a specialty poster and the opportunity to have it signed by all the Express players.
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.