Mankato, MN – The Eau Claire Express downed the Mankato MoonDogs in their first meeting of the season 7-4 in extra innings Wednesday night.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap: Eau Claire’s road woes continued in Mankato as the Express found themselves behind 3-0 after one inning of play. Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) continued his hot start to the season, driving in Eau Claire’s first run of the evening in the top of the third before Sam Kohnle (Winona) tied the game at 3-3 with a two-RBI single in the fourth.
From the fourth inning on, Colt Mink (Flagler) and Noah Denoyer (San Joaquin Delta) took over for the Express. Mink went six innings, striking out six batters, and tossing five scoreless innings. Denoyer entered in relief in the seventh and helped Eau Claire get to extra innings where the bats would come alive.
In the top of the tenth inning, with a runner at second thanks to the new extra-innings rule, the Express rolled out to 7-3 lead off of the bats of Phillip Sikes (Pima), David LaManna (Notre Dame), and Kohnle. Sikes’ two-RBI single drove in Spencer Myers (Notre Dame) and Matt Bottcher (Illinois-Chicago) to break the deadlock. LaManna and Kohnle added to the advantage with a sac fly and an RBI single respectively.
Mankato plated one run in the bottom half of the inning before Eau Claire shut the door behind some excellent defensive play by Bottcher with Denoyer picking up the win.
Kohnle finished the game going 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs, Sikes was 2-for-5 with 2 RBI’s and now holds a .444 average. The Express out hit Mankato 15-7.
With the win, the Express now hold an 8-9 record, while the Mankato MoonDogs fall to 9-8 on the season.
Eau Claire will meet Mankato again Thursday evening at 7:05 before returning to Carson Park for a weekend series. The Express will take the field against the Duluth Huskies Friday, at 7:05, with Evergreen Funeral Home and Crematory sponsoring the game and funeral giveaway, the last prize you’ll ever need. Saturday will feature Star Wars night at pint glass giveaway by Satellite Six, first pitch at 6:35. Call 715-839-7788 for tickets or click HERE to order online.
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.