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Published On: July 14th, 2023

Eau Claire, WI – The kind of history you don’t want to see was made tonight, as the Eau Claire Express and Bismarck Larks combined for the highest-scoring game in Northwoods League history. The final score came out to 18-21.

Usually in a game where the home team scores 18 runs on 13 hits with just 3 errors, things bode well for that team. However, Bismarck out-offensed the Trains, scoring 21 runs of their own. This football-esque score came in the contest that was played in just under 4 hours.

Eau Claire’s starting pitchers simply could not get it done, yet again. They struggled, giving up 17 runs through the first 5 innings. After 5, Eau Claire turned away from their pitchers, and looked to their fielders to get it done. The unlikely early-inning call to save some arms turned out to be a smart call, as only 4 runs were scored by the Larks in the following 4 innings.

Rayth Petersen (UIC) was the first man from the field to grace the mound, coming in in the top of the 6th. He proved to be the answer, if only for 2 innings, as he worked quickly, giving up zero runs, on zero hits with 1 strikeout. After a solid performance by Petersen, usual shortstop Temo Becerra (Stanford) took a turn on the mound.

Both men looked impressive, as Becerra recorded 3 strikeouts of his own in 2 innings.

After once being down by 11 runs early in the game, it looked like there was absolutely no hope for the home team. Little by little though, Eau Claire clawed their way back into contention, as they pitched well and started to string together some hits. In total they scored over 11 runs after the 6th inning.

Things were sparked by a Bronson Rivera (Hawaii) Grand Slam in the 6th, which helped to ignite a once-lifeless team. From there, they added runs in each of the consecutive innings.

In the bottom of the 9th, Eau Claire had the bases loaded for much of the inning. They then began to pour on runs, and close the gap that once looked insurmountable.

Finally, with 2 outs, DJ Massey (Central Arizona) poked a ball to the shortstop, which was mishandled, and let runners come across. The final out was recorded when the Express got a little too greedy, trying to move a man to 3rd base, where he was promptly thrown out, ending the marathon game.

The Express will get another shot at the Larks tomorrow in their 6:35 pm CT matchup. They will look to split the series with Bismarck in their 2nd matchup in 2 days. Come on out and see the Zooperstars at Carson Park! This Entertainment Friday will be fun for the whole family!



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.