Willmar Sting Express in Doubleheader
Willmar, MN – The Eau Claire Express dropped both games of their doubleheader in Willmar Tuesday at Bill Taunton Stadium. Eau Claire fell by a score of 8-3 in their first game of the afternoon and 7-3 in the late game this evening to the Stingers.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap: Eau Claire fell behind early and could not find their rhythm in their earliest start of the season Tuesday morning. Willmar scored two runs in the opening frame. The Express drew to within one run of the lead in the third through a Spencer Myers (Notre Dame) RBI double.
The Stingers would extend their lead, plating four runs in the bottom half of the third, and adding a few insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings to take an 8-1 lead into the ninth.
Eau Claire began to gain some momentum in the ninth, RBIs by Adam Krajewski (St. Thomas) and Sam Stonskas (Winona) hinted at a late-game rally for the Express, but the visitors ultimately could not complete the comeback, falling 8-3.
Both Krajewski and Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) had multi-hit games for the Express, going 2-for-4. Krajewski scored two runs while Myers had Eau Claire’s lone RBI. Andrew Tri (St. Thomas) picked up the loss, going four innings and striking out five batters. Nate Davis (Triton) entered in the fourth and surrendered two hits while fanning six batters.
The Stingers continued to have success early in game two of today’s doubleheader. Willmar jumped out to a 7-0 lead after four innings. Eau Claire had their leadoff hitter reach base in three of the first four innings, but could not capitalize and bring those runners around to score. Eau Claire pulled two runs back in the fifth inning through Matt Bottcher (Illinois-Chicago). The walk-off hero from Monday night’s game singled to left, driving in Eau Claire’s first two runs of the game.
Nick Alvarado (Illinois-Springfield) kept the Express in the game during his relief outing, striking out six batters through 4.1 innings. Brock Burton (Grand Canyon) doubled and came around to score in the ninth, but Eau Claire could not string together the hits needed to complete the comeback, falling by a score of 7-3.
Beilsmith put together a three-hit game and holds a .389 batting average through the early part of the season. Bottcher and Burton both finished with two hits. Bottcher led the Express with two RBIs. With the loss, Eau Claire drop to 7-9, while the Stingers climb to 10-6.
Eau Claire is back in action Wednesday evening, beginning a series with the Mankato MoonDogs at Franklin Rogers Park at 6:35 with Colt Mink expected to take the mound for the Express.
Eau Claire will return to Carson Park on Friday, June 14th to face the Huskies.
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.