Eau Claire, WI – The Eau Claire Bears (15-11, 34-28) finished the long homestand on a high note as they defeated the Willmar Stingers (13-13, 35-27) by a final of 7-3 on Throw Back the Clock Night.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap
Willmar did not waste any time getting on the board as they plated a run in the 1st inning on a solo home run.
The Bears scored twice in the bottom of the 3rd inning to take a 2-1 lead. Sam Kohnle (Winona State) led off with a ground rule double and was followed by a Sam Stonskas (Blackhawk CC) single. Brock Burton (Grand Canyon) singled to score Kohnle and the second run scored after Zach Gilles (Central Michigan) was hit with the bases loaded.
The offense was quiet through the next three innings until the Stingers scored their second run in the top of the 7th.
Eau Claire responded big with a 4-run bottom of the 7th. Stonskas and Burton reached on singles. Matt Bottcher (Illinois-Chicago) slashed a 2 RBI triple to drive in both runners. Nick Marinconz (Cal Poly) earned the RBI on a single that scored Bottcher. Gilles doubled to plate Marinconz and put the score to 6-2.
An insurance run came in during the 8th for the Bears. Vincent Martinez (Stanford) singled, got to second on a passed ball, and scored on a Kohnle RBI double.
Willmar attempted a 9th inning comeback but could only get one run across as the Bears won 7-3.
Rece Finck (Illinois-Springfield) was fantastic in his first start for Eau Claire as he went 6.0 innings, giving up one run on five hits. Brad Rindfleisch (UW Stout) entered for 2.0 innings of one run ball. Alec Baker (Dallas Baptist) allowed a run in the top of the 9th but shut the door down on the Stingers to secure the victory.
Eau Claire will now start a four-game road trip that will last through the weekend. They return home to Carson Park on Monday, August 5th for a 6:35 pm first pitch. It’s Bus’ting at the Seams School Supply Drive night! School is almost back in session and Student Transit want you to help them fill the bus with supplies for area schools. Check out our social media for a chance to uncover a special discount at tonight’s game.
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.