EAU CLAIRE, Wis.- The Eau Claire Express (29-28) won their eighth straight game in a 10-1 victory over the Waterloo Bucks (32-25) on Thursday, July 27.
Kyle Marinconz set the tone with a two-run homer to right field off of the Bucks starting pitcher Anthony Ruden (4-2) in the bottom of the first inning. Already with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, Trevor Schwecke drove in a run on a double he pulled down the left field line.
The score stayed 3-0 in favor of the Express until the the bottom of the fifth when Eau Claire broke the game open. First it was a bases loaded walk drawn by Marinconz then Garrett Wolforth smacked a two-run double and all of a sudden the Bucks were trailing 6-0. The scoring did not stop there though as Justin Evans with two outs drove in two runs on a sharply hit infield single.
Drew Gillespie (3-3) had a perfect game through six innings until he surrendered a double to left field by Dalton Hurd to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Hurd was brought around to score on a fielding error by the Express second baseman Josh Norlin although Gillespie had recovered and finished with eight strikeouts.
Eau Claire tacked on two more runs via the two-run single to left center by Schwecke.
The Bucks aim to rebound tomorrow, July 28 at 7:05 p.m. in the series final against the Eau Claire Express at Carson Park.
The Waterloo Bucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, more than 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.waterloobucks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Bucks as your favorite team.