Three of Eau Claire's four coaches were tossed from the game for arguing strikes, including Manager Dale Varso and asistants Nick Weisheipl, and Vic Cable.
The loss drops the Express down to a record of 2-5. Thunder Bay improves to a record of 3-4 with the victory. The Border Cats improve to 5-4 all-time against the Express and pick up just their second win at Carson Park.
Thunder Bay got things rolling in the top of the third. A bunt single and a hit batter put runners at first and second with one out. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. That proved costly because Terry Goddard grounded out to second, but it allowed the runner to score from third to give the Border Cats a 1-0 lead.
Thunder Bay extended its lead three innings later in the top of the sixth. With runners at first and third, the Express got a runner held up between first and second, in the meantime, Danny Benedetti broke for home and would score after the throw home sailed wide to make the score 2-0 Thunder Bay.
On the mound for Thunder Bay was Morgan Carlile. Carlile was cruising, not allowing a hit in the first six innings of the game. It wasn’t until Tyler Goodro’s (Butler CC) double with two outs in the bottom of the seventh that the Express got their first hit. Carlile would allow two hits on the night and strikeout 12 in eight innings of work.
The Border Cats added a run in the top of the ninth when Marshal Davis laid down a squeeze bunt that plated Chris Curley as the Border Cats led 3-0. The Express threatened in the bottom of the ninth against closer Chris Manning. After an error got the inning started, Ian Hollick (New Mexico) got on base with a hit that just dropped in. After a groundout, Russell Dixon (Auburn) walked, which loaded the bases with two outs. However, the Express struck out to end the game as the Border Cats won 3-0.
Wes Simmons (Nebraska) (0-1) got the loss for the Express as he pitched 5.1 innings, allowed seven hits, and struck out five. Hollick, Goodro, and Pat Colwell (San Diego State) had all of the hits for Eau Claire.