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Published On: July 26th, 2012

The Lakeshore Chinooks entered the All-Star break with wins in three of their final four ballgames and hoped to continue that momentum into Thursday’s contest with Eau Claire.  The home standing Express found themselves on the other end of the spectrum dropping six of their final eight entering the break.

The offense will have to go without both Bre Kimbell (Louisiana Tech) and  Eric Aguilera (Illinois State) for the remainder of the season. Both players road off into the sunset with strong performances in the All-Star game Tuesday. 

Two of the newest additions, Ty Kamps (UW-Oshkosh) and Michael Jurgella (St. Cloud State) did their best to pick up the slack.  Back-to-back hits plus a walk by Germen Reyes (Winston-Salem State) loaded the bases with one out in the second inning.  Unfortunately Ryan Ussery (Alabama-Birmingham) struck out and Scott Wilcox (Western Kentucky) grounded to first, ending the threat.

Ryan Harris (Florida) was called upon to make his first start of the season as part of a revamped starting staff.  After giving up a walk and a double in the first inning, he settled down nicely to retire the next nine men to face him.

Harris has been used exclusively out of the bullpen in his first twelve appearances, throwing no more than four innings per outing.   The fourth inning seemed to be the end of his rope, and the Express jumped on the opportunity.  A solo shot to left by Josh Scheffert put Eau Claire up 1-0.  Later in the inning Jimmy Allen followed suit, this time with a runner aboard, to push the lead to three.

Lakeshore responded by loading the bases in the sixth.  Reyes delivered with an RBI single to plate the first run.  Ussery followed with a routine groundball to short for a potential double play.  The throw from second was wide allowing Jurgella to score.

After cutting the lead in half, it was up to a retooled bullpen to hold serve.  The Express knocked all four relievers around.  In the final 4 1/3 innings Eau Claire added nine runs on eleven hits to expand the lead to ten.

The same two teams will go at it again tomorrow.  Cody Glenn (LSU) will get the start for the Chinooks as they look to even the series.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:35.