by Bryon Graff
WAUSAU (WAOW) - The Woodchucks fell behind early, only to take the lead then see it evaporate for good in their home opener as the Express win 6-3.
Online Reporter: Bryon Graff
Press Release Courtesy of Wisconsin Woodchucks
‘Chucks Fall in Home Opener
WAUSAU, WI - May 29, 2009 - (Stats) The Wisconsin Woodchucks (0-2) were unable to come up with clutch hitting in their home opener on Friday night as they dropped their second consecutive game to the Eau Claire Express 6-3.
After giving up an early run, the ‘Chucks grabbed the lead in the second after a lead off single by Jeremy Richter (UW-Stevens Point) and a couple of errors by the Express gave the ‘Chucks a 2-1 advantage.
The Express played small ball to manufacture two runs to take the lead back in the top of the fourth, but the Woodchucks answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth after singles from Chad Wright (Kentucky) and Kale Kiser (Nebraska) started a small rally.
It stayed tied until the eighth inning when Eau Claire's Nolan Fadness (UW-Oshkosh) scored on a wild pitch. The Express added one more in the frame with a sac fly, and tacked on an unearned run in the 9th to take home the 6-3 victory.
Bobby Pritchett battled on the mound for the Woodchucks as he went seven innings and gave up three runs on nine hits while striking out three. Scott Kuhns took the loss in relief after he gave up three runs on four hits over the final two innings.
Chris Odegaard was solid for the Express, giving up three runs (1 earned) over seven innings while scattering three hits and striking out nine. Joseph Lopez and Devan Kline each threw scoreless innings in relief.
Kiser led the way offensively for the ‘Chucks as he went 2-for-4. Wright and Richter recorded a hit and scored a run in the losing effort.
The Express got three hits from Joe Bonfe (Sierra) and Nate Baumann (Augustana), while Shawn Ferguson pitched in two hits and two runs scored in the victory.
The Woodchucks return to action Saturday night as they host the Mankato MoonDogs in the first game of a two game set at Athletic Park.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks are a member of the Northwoods League, a co llege wood bat summer league featuring players from across the country. Baseball America named the Northwoods League as one of the premier summer collegiate baseball leagues in the country. For group outing / ticket information contact the Woodchucks office at 715-845-5055 or visit the Woodchucks website at www.woodchucks.com.