Eau Claire, WI – The Eau Claire Express (17-17) walked off the Duluth Huskies (12-22) after storming back and scoring 6 runs in the 9th inning to win 6-5.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap:
What was scheduled to be a 2:05 pm first pitch was delayed until 5:14 after a brutal thunderstorm swept the Chippewa Valley. After the field was ready to go play began after a 3 hour and 9-minute delay.
It was all Duluth for most of the matchup. The Huskies score a run in the 2nd and 3rd innings, as well as 2 runs in the 4th inning to go up 4-0. After three scoreless innings from both clubs, the Huskies tacked on one more in the top of the 8th to lead 5-0.
Never giving up, the Express followed suit of the weather and stormed back to score 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Brock Burton (Grand Canyon) lead off with a four-pitch double and was followed by a Cole Cabrera (Cal Poly) walk. Nick Lopez (Illinois-Chicago) ripped a 2 RBI double that scored both Cabrera and Burton. The Express then trailed 5-2. In the next at bat, Matt Bottcher (Illinois-Chicago) singled to plate his Flames teammate, Lopez. Bottcher moved to 2nd base on an error by the Huskies left fielder. The game was sitting at 5-3 and after a pitching substitution, the Express got right back to work. Phillip Sikes grounded out but earned the RBI as Bottcher ran home after advancing to 3rd on a wild pitch. The bases were clear for a moment, but that quickly changed with Spencer Myer’s (Notre Dame) walk, David LaManna’s (Notre Dame) single, and Brandon Dieter’s (Stanford) walk. With one out and the basses loaded, Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) delivered the walk-off hit, a single, to score Myers.
The Express dugout exploded and sprinted out to meet Beilsmith on field, celebrating the 6-5 victory.
Nick Alvarado (Illinois-Springfield) started for the Express and went 4.0 innings, giving up four runs on two hits and seven walks. His college teammate, Rece Finck (Illinois-Springfield) got called on in relief. Finck was fantastic, tossing 5.0 innings of one run baseball. He struck out six.
The Express finish out the first half of the season with a two-game series in Mankato. After a game in La Crosse on July 3rd, the Express return home to Carson Park for the 4th of July! Gates open at 4:05 for a 5:05 first pitch. Celebrate Independence Day with the Express and post-game fireworks!
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.