MANKATO, MN – The Eau Claire Express (18-17) lead wire to wire over the Mankato MoonDogs (15-20) Monday night at Franklin Rogers Park, winning by a score of 9-2.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap:
Eau Claire got things rolling early in Mankato, plating four runs in the first two innings. Spencer Myers (Notre Dame), Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) and David LaManna (Notre Dame) all picked up RBIs in the first inning. Myers plated an additional run in the second inning, driving in Nick Lopez (Illinois-Chicago).
Mankato narrowed the Express lead to 4-2 by the fourth inning, but a Vincent Martinez (Stanford) two-RBI double restored Eau Claire’s four-run lead in the fifth. Martinez was not done yet. With one out in the seventh inning, the Stanford product singled to right field, driving in Beilsmith from third, taking the Express advantage to 7-2.
Eau Claire added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach for the home team. LaManna scored Cole Cabrera (Cal Poly) from third while Matt Bottcher (Illinois-Chicago) was able to add another run, scoring on a passed ball to make the final score 9-2.
Craig Colen (Cal Poly) started the game for the Express on the mound and completed six innings of work, picking up the win, and striking out six MoonDog batters. Nick Herold (Winona) earned the save, striking out four batters through three innings, and dropping his ERA for the season to 3.24.
The Express out hit the MoonDogs 9-5 Monday night with Myers, Beilsmith and Martinez all going 4-for-2 at the plate. Myers and Beilsmith gained two RBIs apiece while Martinez led the team with a three-RBI night.
The win keeps Eau Claire’s first half hopes alive heading into the final game tomorrow evening. The Express are a single game back from the division-leading Waterloo Bucks, but hold the series tiebreaker with the team from Iowa. First pitch tomorrow night against the MoonDogs is scheduled for 6:35.
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.