Express Down Thunder Bay North of the Border
Thunder Bay, Ontario – The Eau Claire Express topped the Thunder Bay Border Cats Tuesday evening in Ontario, Canada, by a score of 10-2.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap:
The bats were hot from the start for the Express. Eau Claire plated four runs in the top half of the first inning to give starting pitcher Colt Mink (Flagler) some great run support. Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) and Brock Burton (Grand Canyon) each drove in a run in the inning while Vincent Martinez (Stanford) snagged a pair for the Express. Martinez ended the game going 2-for-5 from the plate with two RBIs.
Eau Claire scored a pair of runs in the second inning after Beilsmith notched his second RBI of the game. Leading 6-0, Nick Lopez (Illinois-Chicago) launched his first long ball of the season to extend the Express lead in the fourth. Lopez finished the night going 3-for-4- at the plate.
Thunder Bay scored runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings to narrow the Express lead to 7-2 before the Eau Claire could answer back. In the sixth inning, four straight base hits and RBI’s by Burton, Sam Kohnle (Winona) and Connor Laspina (Flagler) gave the Express an eight-run lead, making the score 10-2.
That was all the Express would need to see this one out. Mink earned the win to up his overall record to 2-2. Mink worked out of a few jams in the game and was helped by out by a handful of excellent defensive efforts throughout the night. Mink tossed five complete innings, facing 22 batters and striking out three. Kinlecheenie (Montevallo) entered in the sixth and tossed four scoreless innings for Eau Claire. Kinlecheenie picked up the save in his eighth appearance of the season, striking out two batters in the process.
Lopez led the Express with three hits, with Eau Claire out hitting Thunder Bay 14-6. Five Eau Claire batters finished with multiple hits against the Border Cats including Lopez, Martinez, Burton, Kohnle, and Laspina. Beilsmith, Martinez, and Burton all finished the night with two RBIs.
With the win, Eau Claire raised their second-half record to 5-2 and their overall record to 24-19, the best in the Great Plains East. The Express will face the Border Cats Wednesday evening at 6:05 before returning to Eau Claire to host the Waterloo Bucks at 6:35 at Carson Park Thursday during Military Appreciation Night at the ballpark, sponsored by Logistics Health Incorporated.
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.