Big 11th Inning Powers La Crosse Over Eau Claire

Eau Claire, Wisc. – 6 Loggers cross home plate in the 11th inning after 7 scoreless innings for a 10-4 Loggers victory over the North Division-leading Eau Claire Express.

The Loggers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening inning. Justin Wylie (San Diego State) walked with one out, followed by a single by Cullen Large (William & Mary). Both runners advanced on a double steal, but an errant throw by Express catcher Daulton Varsho (UW-Milwaukee) allowed Wylie to score and Large to move up to 3rd. Grant Fennell (Nevada) brought in Large with a single.

La Crosse added two more runs in the 2nd and the 3rd. Cesar Salazar (Arizona) scored his first run of the season in the 2nd on a fielder’s choice by Mason McCoy (Iowa) Grant Fennell doubled to lead off the 3rd, and scored on a single by Griffin Conine (Duke) to extend the Loggers’ lead to four.

Eau Claire came storming back in the bottom of the 3rd. Mickey McDonald (Illinois-Chicago) led off the inning with a single. Zach Ashford (Fresno State) was hit-by-pitch to put runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Two wild pitches scored McDonald for Eau Claire’s first run of the game. Daulton Varsho brought in Ashford with a single. Alex McKenna (Cal Poly) capped off the Express comeback with a game-tying 2-run blast. Alex also homered last night off Loggers pitching.

Both pitching staffs settled down and shut down each other’s offenses. Since the end of the 3rd inning, La Crosse pitching held the Express hitless through the end of regulation. The Loggers’ offense mustered out three hits, but was not able to break the tie, sending the game into extras.

In the 11th, the Lumbermen’s offense was reborn. The first three batters singled to start the inning. The third single, by Mason McCoy, brought home the go-ahead run Cesar Salazar. An error by pitcher Johnathan Tripp (New Mexico) on a grounder allowed Jake Hirabayashi (UCLA) to score for the 2nd run of the inning. Before an out was recorded in the inning, La Crosse was up 6-4.

Griffin Conine (Duke) broke the game open for the Loggers with a one-out grand slam, for the 6th run of the inning.

Eau Claire threatened with runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs, but Dave Smith (Long Beach State) held the Express off the scoreboard to secure the 10-4 victory.

La Crosse moves up to 4-5 in the 2nd half (21-24). Eau Claire falls to 6-3 in the 2nd half (31-14 overall). The Loggers head across the state of Wisconsin for their next stop, Lakeshore, in Mequon. Game time tomorrow is 6:35 pm. Catch the pregame show at 6 pm on the Loggers Radio Network, Eagle 102.7 or the Loggers Radio App. 

Box Score

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