The Eau Claire Express was finally able to hit the field at Carson Park this 2007 season as it split a doubleheader with the Waterloo Bucks today, winning game one 6-2, but falling in game two 1-0.
Today’s doubleheader was the home opener for the Express as last night’s scheduled home opener was postponed due to rain. It was the fifth doubleheader in the franchise’s history.
Tim Huber (Nebraska-Omaha) got the start in game one for the Express. He was his old usual self, getting a runner caught between first and second in the top of the first to end the inning. Neither team would get a get a base runner to second base in the first 4.5 innings.
The Express then finally got on the board in a big way in the bottom of the fifth. Dominic Piazza (Nebraska) led off the inning with a single. After a sacrifice and walk, Ian Hollick (New Mexico) delivered with a big two out double to left center that scored both Piazza and Kole Calhoun (Yavapai). Bryan Frew (Nebraska-Omaha) then singled in Mickey Fadness (UW-Oshkosh) to give the Express a 3-0 lead.
Still in the bottom of the fifth, Tyler Goodro (Butler CC) doubled down the left field line to plate Hollick to make the score 4-0. Joe Bonfe (Creighton) concluded the scoring in the inning when he singled up the middle to score both Frew and Goodro to give Eau Claire a 6-0 lead.
Tim Huber had a no hitter going through the first five innings but that would be broken up with the first batter in the top of the sixth on a single by Aaron Jarosh. The Bucks got two runs in the inning to make the score 6-2, but that’s as close as they got as the Express won their first game of the season 6-2.
Tim Huber (1-0) went all seven innings, striking out five and allowing just four hits. The Express defense also played well making a couple of great plays out in the field. Tyler Goodro led the Express at the plate going 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.
Game two would not feature as much scoring as both starting pitchers performed very well. The Express sent Mike LaLuna (New York Tech) to the mound. LaLuna normally an infielder has not seen much action on mound. That could change after tonight’s performance as he only gave up one run, while scattering eight hits, and striking out five. However the one run he did give up cost him the loss in the end, as the Express offense could not help him out at the plate as they did in the first game.
The lone run of the game came in the fourth inning when Timmy McCann singled to left to score Michael Giller from second. Waterloo pitcher Tim Flattery held the Express hitless for the first four innings and ended up allowing just one hit for the game to earn the win.
The split gives the Express a record of 1-3 this season, while the Bucks are now 2-2. The Express are now 12-6 all-time against Waterloo. Eau Claire has won seven of the last eight encounters against the Bucks.
The Express get back on the road tomorrow for the first game of a two-game series at La Crosse. The first pitch of tomorrow’s game at Copeland Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.