The Express snap a two-game losing skid and improve to 6-8. The Loggers fall back down to a record of 7-7. La Crosse has lost four straight games at home, two of which coming against the Express.
The Loggers took an early lead on the Express as they would get RBI doubles in the second and third innings to go up 2-0. However, that is all they would get early as they threatened, but big defensive plays and starter Elliott Ogawa (Georgia Tech) held them to just two runs.
The Express tied the game in the fourth when Jonathan Merritt (Alabama-Birmingham) hit a line drive to left that was dropped by the left fielder, which allowed a run to score. Kole Calhoun (Yavapai) then scored on a groundout by Dominic Piazza (Nebraska) to tie the contest at 2-2. Eau Claire took the lead in the top of the sixth when Tyler Goodro (Butler CC) hit his first home run of the year on a blast down the left field line.
The Express added to their lead in the top of the seventh when Bryan Frew (Nebraska-Omaha) hit a fly ball down the left field line and the left fielder dove for it, but missed and Frew motored around the bases as he would score the first ever inside the park home run in Express history to make the score 4-2. Later in the inning, Piazza hit a two-out RBI single that scored Kole Calhoun to give the Express a 5-2 lead.
The Loggers then got one run in the seventh and the eighth to cut the Express lead to 5-4. After a 35-minute delay in the top of the ninth due to a light malfunction, La Crosse put runners at first and second with the two outs in the bottom of the ninth. However, Express closer Kole Calhoun would get a groundout as the Express hung on to win 5-4.
Mike LaLuna (New York Tech) (1-1) picks up the win in relief as he went five innings allowing just two runs. Calhoun earns his fourth save of the season. Goodro led the Express at the plate with a double and home run.
The Express will begin a two-game series in Rochester tomorrow. It will be the second game of a seven-game road trip for Eau Claire. Tomorrow’s game between the Honkers and the Express begin at 7:05 p.m.