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Published On: August 6th, 2023

Eau Claire, WI – The Express couldn’t get it done in the Sunday matinee matchup, losing to the Willmar Stingers 4-11.

Eau Claire struck first in this contest when Dylan O’Connell (Western Kentucky) smacked his 8th homer of the year in the bottom of the first inning. His shot brought in 2, to give the Express the early 2-0 lead.

O’Connell’s day would, unfortunately, come to a premature ending in the top of the third on a hard slide from an incoming Willmar Stinger. To make matters worse, in that same inning, Willmar drove in a couple of runs on a 2-run shot of their own.

Eau Claire responded saw these 2, and answered back with yet another 2 runs, on an RBI single from Designated Hitter Kaden Galason (Belmont) in the fourth.

The top of the sixth inning was a tough one for the Express, as the Stingers tacked on 6 runs to take a 9-4 lead. Of the six, four came on a grand slam by leadoff man, Andrew Sojka. The following inning didn’t fare much better for the home team, as Willmar kept their foot on the gas, scoring another 2.

Five arms were used by the Express in this ballgame, with Freddy Rodriguez (Cal Poly) starting on the mound. Rodriguez pitched mostly well through 5 1/3 innings. His day included 3 earned runs on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts. He was proceeded by four other pitchers for Eau Claire, yet none of them seemed to do enough to stop the Stingers, as they poured on runs after his exit.

After today’s loss, the Express will have two days off to rest up and recover for their next ballgame. That game will come on Wednesday, August 9th at La Crosse with first pitch coming at 6:35 pm CT. Be sure to tune into the action on the Northwoods League website, or listen along on the radio at 106.7 FM-Moose Country with play-by-play men Noah Schwartz and Pete Knutson.



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.