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Published On: June 24th, 2023

Eau Claire, WI –  Express pull out the 2-game sweep in the bottom of the 9th, beating the Rochester Honkers 3-2.

This hotly contested pitcher’s duel of a game was close all the way throughout. After some tension between the two teams in the bottom of the 5th, Express batter Nate Witte (UW-Eau Claire) stepped up to the plate in the 6th inning and smoked a solo home run to knot the game at 2-2. This is where the game stayed for some time until the bottom of the 9th.

Lance Lauve (Southeastern Louisiana) started for the Express, throwing 4 largely unblemished innings. In the bottom of 4, however, the Honkers hitters had him figured out as they scored both of their two runs of the night and ended his outing.

Michael Trausch (Central Arizona) then came in and worked his magic through 4.2 innings of ball. He pitched phenomenally, giving up just 3 hits on no runs, with 4 strikeouts. Tanner Sagouspe (Cal Poly) was the man who got the win, however, as he was the final pitcher of the ball game, and recorded the last out of Trausch’s 9th-inning bid.

Heading into the bottom of the 9th inning, the magic continued for the Express, as leadoff man Rayth Petersen (UIC) cracked a double off the outfield wall. The crowd of over 1100 Eau Claire faithful was on their feet by the time Catcher Cole Conn (UIC) came to the plate. After seeing one pitch, he swung the bat and drove in the winning run of the game. As Petersen slid into home, the Men in Orange flooded the field and celebrated with Conn at 2nd, having completed the team’s first walk-off win of the season.

You can catch the Express back in action tomorrow evening at Carson Park, where they will be squaring off against the Duluth Huskies. Gates open at 6:05, and first pitch will come at 7:05 pm CT. Be sure to stop on out and collect your free socks, as a part of our sock giveaway. Show up and show out fans, you won’t want to miss this one!



The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 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 325 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at and on ESPN+. For more information, visit 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.