Express Sweep Border Cats with Extra Innings Victory
Thunder Bay, Ontario – The Eau Claire Express (6-2, 25-19) swept the Canada series with the Thunder Bay Border Cats (1-7, 15-27) after needing extra innings to secure a 9-7 victory.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap:
Early scoring gave the Express a 1-0 lead after the first inning. Spencer Myers (Notre Dame) singled to lead and advanced to second base on a ground out. Myers moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a second wild pitch later in the inning.
Two more runs scored in the second inning. David LaManna (Notre Dame) doubled and moved to third on a deep fly out to right field. Brock Burton (Grand Canyon) hit an RBI single to score LaManna. Cole Cabrera (Cal Poly) bumped Burton up to second on a single. Myers walked in the next at bat to load the bases. Burton raced in to score on a passed ball in the following at bat and put the score at 3-0.
The Border Cats offense began to figure things out in their half of the 2nd inning, as they also scored 2 runs to make it a 3-2 ballgame. After a quiet three innings, the Cats scored a run in the bottom of the 6th to tie the game at 3-3.
That tie would not last long as the Express came back to score 3 runs in the top of the 7th. Connor Laspina (Flagler) doubled and advanced to third on Matt Bottcher’s (Illinois-Chicago) single. The bases were loaded with no outs after Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) walked. Nick Lopez (Illinois-Chicago) followed with his own RBI walk, which drove in Laspina. After a pitching substitution, Vincent Martinez (Stanford) drove in Bottcher on a sacrifice fly to the right fielder. Beilsmith moved to third on the play. LaManna followed suit in the next at bat and hit a sac fly to right which scored Beilsmith.
Eau Claire looked to have the ballgame locked up as they were cruising with a 6-3 lead, until a hiccup in the bottom of the 9th. Thunder Bay scored 3 runs to tie the game at 6-6 on three hits and a walk.
Due to the new Northwoods League extra innings rule, David LaManna began the 10th inning at second base for Eau Claire. LaManna advanced to third on a single by Brandon Dieter (Stanford). Burton reached on a fielder’s choice and LaManna moved to third, but Dieter was put out on the play. Cabrera plated LaManna on an RBI single in the following at bat. Next up was Bottcher who got to first on an E3 that allowed both Burton and Cabrera to score and give the Express a 9-6 lead.
The Border Cats could only manage to score one run in the bottom of the 10th to put the score at the final 9-7 Express victory.
Tanner Kohlhepp (Tennessee) got the start for the Express and went 6.0 innings, giving up 3 runs on seven hits and a walk. Fellow Eau Claire Memorial alum, Jack Brown (Minnesota-State), got the ball for scoreless 2.0 innings of relief. Brown had just three base runners and struck out three. All-Star Brannon Jordan (Cowley CC) earned the win after throwing an inning. He allowed three runs on three hits and a walk. Nick Herold (Winona State) earned the save after throwing the bottom of the 10th, giving up a run.
Eau Claire will return to Carson Park to host the Waterloo Bucks at 6:35 at Carson Park Thursday, July 11th, 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.