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Published On: May 31st, 2024

Eau Claire, WI – The Express’ bats came alive late, but it was not enough, as the Honkers held on to win 8-5 and secure the series split.

The Honkers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first 3 innings, thanks to hits from Nico Defazio (Pacific), Hunter Daymond (Bemidji State), and Henry Wright (Campbellsville), and added a 6th from a solo shot by Petey Craska (Georgia Tech).

The Express were held in check by starter Sam George (ETSU), who threw for 6 innings, only allowing 1 run on 5 hits, with 3 strikeouts, and picked up the win. Cam Cunnings (Fresno City) picked up the save, who threw the 9th inning, allowing 1 hit with a strikeout.

George Bilecki (Lewis) was the player of the night for Eau Claire, as he finished 2/4 with a pair of singles, an RBI, and a walk.

The Express mounted a comeback attempt, pushing 4 runs across in the bottom of the eighth inning, to make it a 3 run ballgame, but it would not be enough.

The Express open a new series tomorrow against the new addition to the Northwoods League, the Badland Big Sticks. First pitch is set for 6:35 at Carson Park.

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. Entering its’ 31st season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 26 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 350 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 (TEX), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (STL) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (ATL). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2023 World Series Champion, 2021 and 2023 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and two-time All-MLB first team 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.