Eau Claire,WI – The Eau Claire Express (7-2, 26-19) defeated the Waterloo Bucks (3-6, 23-22) in a 11-3 blowout on Thursday evening. After the Express took an early lead, Nick Alvarado shut down the Bucks in the rout.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap:
Not wasting any time getting on the board, the Express scored a run in the 1st inning. Zach Gilles (Central Michigan) led off with a single. He moved to third on Cole Cabrera’s (Cal Poly) single. Gilles score on a sacrifice fly hit by Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) in the next at bat.
Three runs scored in the bottom of the 2nd inning for the Express. The bases loaded on a David LaManna (Notre Dame) single, Sam Kohnle (Winona State) single, and Gilles walk. Nick Lopez (Illinois-Chicago) cleared the bases on a 3 RBI double and gave the Eau Claire a 4-0 lead.
Waterloo got a run back in the top of the 4th inning. They did so on one hit and an error.
The Express responded nicely, scoring one of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Brock Burton (Grand Canyon) reached on a fielder’s choice. He stole second and advanced to third on a single hit by Gilles. Burton raced home after Waterloo’s catcher made an errant throw.
Eau Claire tacked on another in the 6th. Once again, the bases quickly loaded. Kohnle and Burton walked, followed by a Gilles single. Cabrera drew the bases loaded walk to score Kohnle.
A big four run 7th inning gave the Express all the insurance they needed. Vincent Martinez (Stanford) started with a single and advanced to second base on a LaManna single. Brandon Dieter (Stanford) drove in his Cardinal teammate with an RBI double. Later in the inning, Burton slashed a 2 RBI triple and came home on an error by the Bucks left fielder. This put the score at 10-1 in favor of the Trains.
The final Express run scored in the 8th. Cabrera did what he does best and led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a balk. LaManna plated Cabrera on an RBI double to put Eau Claire up 11-1.
The Bucks offense saw a little life in the top of the 9th inning but could only score two more on three hits and a walk. This put the score to the final of 11-3.
Nick Alvarado (Illinois-Springfield) was absolutely dominant in his start and was the Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night. The 6’7 junior tossed 8.0 innings and gave up just one unearned run on five hits. Alvarado struck out 8 batters. Jonathan Worley (Stanford) had a rocky 9th inning, giving up two runs on three hits but was able to put the Bucks away to secure the victory.
Eau Claire continues on the homestand tomorrow night against Waterloo with a 7:05 first pitch. Stick around after the game to watch the skies above Carson Park light up with spectacular fireworks display. Also, join the Express and Mayo Health System while they honor an individual that has overcome a major medical diagnosis. Hear their story and watch as they take a symbolic run around the bases during Home Run for Life.
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.