Eau Claire, WI – The Eau Claire Express (14-8, 33-25) defeated the Mankato MoonDogs (12-10, 27-31) in a pitchers’ duel on a wet, Sunday afternoon. As the rain fell, the Express needed extra innings to win 2-1.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap:
Mankato scored their lone run in the top of the 2nd inning, doing so on three walks and a double.
Eau Claire responded in the bottom half of the frame, scoring one of their own to tie the ballgame up at 1-1. Brandon Dieter (Stanford) walked on four straight pitches to get things started. He advanced to second base on a groundout. Sam Kohnle (Winona State) hit an RBI single to plate Dieter.
That 1-1 tie would hold for the next 7 innings as the game continued to be a pitchers’ duel. In the top of the 10th, the Express shut down the MoonDogs and did not let their runner score.
Heading to the bottom of the 10th inning, Vincent Martinez (Stanford) started on second base for the Express due to the extra innings rule. Dieter singled on a play that moved Martinez to third. Adam LaRock (Madison College) walked to load the bases. Matt Bottcher (Illinois-Chicago) drew the bases-loaded walk-off walk to score Martinez and send the Express fans home happy with a 2-1 victory.
Nick Herold (Winona State) got the start for the Express and went 4.2 innings, giving up just one run on two hits and seven walks. Rece Finck (Illinois-Springfield) was lights out in relief, tossing 5.1 scoreless innings as he allowed only one hit. Finck struck out two batters.
The Express continue this current home stand on Monday, July 29th. Join us for a 6:35 pm first pitch and Mystery Monday! Following our Christmas in July theme, the Eau Claire Express will be collecting toys for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services. New or gently used toys can be donated for children of all age groups. Fans will receive one fry basket for every person who brings a toy donation, along with other concession specialty items!
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 and set the Express as your favorite team.