The Eau Claire Express was unable to win a franchise-best sixth consecutive game tonight as the Waterloo Bucks defeated Eau Claire 7-3 at Carson Park.
The Express drop to 6-2 in the second half and 23-19 overall. Eau Claire is currently tied for second with Green Bay, one game back of Wisconsin in the South Division. The Express also saw their franchise-best seven-game home winning streak come to end with the loss and end their home stand with a 5-1 record. Waterloo improves to 4-4 in the second half and 19-23 overall.
Eau Claire did strike first in this game. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Tyler Goodro (Butler CC) tripled down the right field line. David Cales (Illinois-Chicago) then came up and smashed his first home run of the season over the left center field fence to make the score 2-0 Express.
Waterloo cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth when Mark Pappas hit double to deep centerfield to drive in Brent Milleville to make the score 2-1. The floodgates did open for the Bucks in the top of the fifth. With runners at the corners and one out, Travis Hendrix singled to center field, knocking in Adam Gaylord to tie the game. Milleville then singled to left center driving in two to give Waterloo a 4-2 lead. Pappas then extended the lead in a big way with a three-run home run that just cleared the left center field fence to make the score 7-2.
Eau Claire got a run in the bottom of the fifth when Bryan Frew (Nebraska-Omaha) hit sacrifice fly to left to score Bryce Nimmo (Nebraska) and make the score 7-3. The Express did get a runner to third in the sixth, but that is as close as they would get as Waterloo ends Eau Claire’s win streak with a 7-3 victory.
Wes Simmons (Nebraska-Omaha) (2-2) picks up the loss for Eau Claire. Josh Rickards (4-2) earns the win for Waterloo. Cales went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored to lead Eau Claire offensively. The Express did set one franchise-first tonight. For the first time, the Express hit for the cycle as a team. Cales had the home run, Goodro had the triple, and Joe Bonfe (Creighton) had the double.
Eau Claire hits the road for four straight games. The Express will cross the border tomorrow to face the Thunder Bay Border Cats for the first game of a two-game series. Game time is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. local time.