Varsho’s Late Home Run Help Express Escape with Win
La Crosse, Wisc. – Eau Claire runs away late with an 8-2 win in Copeland Park tonight. The loss snaps a 3-game win streak by the Loggers.
Loggers’ starting pitcher Randy Labaut (Arizona) got into trouble early against the Express. Ben Mezzenga (Minnesota) walked to lead off the game. Labaut got a strikeout and a groundout, but could not escape the inning without some damage. Eau Claire rightfielder Alex McKenna (Cal Poly) hit a deep fly ball to hit off the left field wall, just out of reach of the jumping Justin Wylie (San Diego State), and rolled down the third base fence. The Loggers’ defense could not get to the ball as McKenna scored on a 2-run inside-the-park home run. It was the second ever inside-the-park home run ever hit at Copeland Park
La Crosse threatened in the 2nd inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs, but could not score. Both pitchers settled down for the next few innings and the game sped up.
Eau Claire grabbed another run in the 5th after a leadoff double by Cody Bohanek (Illinois-Chicago). He moved to 3rd base on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Sam Hurt (Kent State).
They added two more insurance runs in the 8th on a one out 2-run double by Daulton Varsho (UW-Milwaukee).
La Crosse got both of the runs back in their half of the inning. A single and walk put two runners on base with no one out. Grant Fennell (Nevada) brought in both runs on a double to right-center field.
Daulton Varsho broke open the lead late in the game with a two out 3-run home run in the 9th inning to distance themselves from the Loggers. Eau Claire closer Christian Tripp (New Mexico) finished off the La Crosse offense to secure the 8-2 victory.
Jon Roblez (Alabama State) picked up his 2nd victory of the season (2-0) with 6 innings of scoreless pitching. He gave up 4 hits, walking 2, and striking out 6 batters.
Randy Labaut took his 1st loss of the season in his only decision (0-1). He went 5.1 innings, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits. He walked 2 batters and struck out 7.
The two clubs combined for 22 strikeouts. Loggers pitching accounted for 14 of those, tying the team high for the season.
Cesar Salazar (Arizona) had a great night from the plate. He went 3-for-4 with 3 singles. He also threw out a runner in the loss.
La Crosse falls to 7-7 in the 2nd half (24-26 overall). Eau Claire breaks a 4-game losing streak, moving to 8-7 in the 2nd half (33-18 overall). La Crosse heads to Eau Claire tomorrow night for the 8th and final matchup this season between the two clubs. Game time from Carson Park is a 5:05 first pitch. Catch the 5 pm pregame show on the Loggers Radio Network, Eagle 102.7 or the Loggers Radio App.