Thunder Bay, ON – On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Canada, the Eau Claire Express (11-5, 30-22) powered past the Thunder Border Cats (2-14, 16-35) by a final of 9-3. Cole Cabrera’s two home runs were a driving force as the Express went on to victory.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap
The Express jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning. Brock Burton (Grand Canyon), Matt Bottcher (Illinois-Chicago), and Vincent Martinez (Stanford) all walked to load the bases. David LaManna (Notre Dame) hit an RBI single to score Burton and moved everyone up a base. Bottcher scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.
Thunder Bay responded quickly, scoring 2 runs of their own in the bottom of the 1st. They tied the game at 2-2 on three hits and a walk.
Cole Cabrera (Cal Poly) showed power in the top of the 4th. After Brandon Dieter (Stanford) reached on a walk and Sam Stonskas (Blackhawk CC) on a single, Cabrera blasted a 3 run home run over the left field wall. Cabrera gave the Express a 5-2 lead on his first homer of the season.
Eau Claire added another run in the 5th inning. Martinez led off with a single and moved to second base on LaManna’s walk. Both runners advanced one base on a groundout. Sam Kohnle (Winona State) dropped a bloop single into right field to drive in Martinez.
The Border Cats followed suit and added a run in their half of the 5th on a hit, stolen base, wild pitch, and passed ball.
Cole Cabrera was not finished putting on a hitting display as he led off the 8th inning. The center fielder sent a solo shot that hit off a light post in left field for his second home run of the game! Still in the 8th, Bottcher reached on a single, stole second, and advanced to third on an E3. Nick Marinconz (Cal Poly) drove Bottcher in on an RBI single to put the score to 8-3.
The final Express run came in the top of the 9th inning. Dieter started off with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Stonskas singled to advance Dieter to third. He would come in on a fielders choice later in the inning.
Nick Herold (Winona State) got the start for the Express and could only go 3.1 innings. He gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks while striking out 5. Kuster Kinlecheenie (Montevallo) earned the win after entering for 5.2 innings, allowing an unearned run.
Standing out for the Express was Cole Cabrera. The sophomore from Cal Poly went 2-5 with 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, and a BB. David LaManna went 1-1 and reached base 4 times via a walk. Sam Stonskas also had a nice night, going 3-4 with a walk and run scored.
Eau Claire is now at the halfway mark in the Thunder Bay series. After games in Canada on Monday and Tuesday plus a league wide off day on Wednesday, July 24th, the Express return home on Thursday, July 25th. The Waterloo Bucks will be in town for a 6:35 pm first pitch. “Outside the sun is shining and friends are calling “yoo-hoo!” Join us as we celebrate Christmas in July at Carson Park!
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.