EAU CLAIRE (WAOW) - The Wisconsin Woodchucks (8-7) matched a season high for hits with 14 as they took their final game of the first half with the Eau Claire Express (10-4) 9-5 at Carson Park. The Woodchucks bats were hot all night and ‘Chucks baserunners crossed the plate early and often, as even very sloppy fielding, marked by 6 errors, could keep the Woodchucks out of the win column. The win gave the Woodchucks a critical split of their four game series with the first place Express.
The Woodchucks first scored in the second inning when Jamie Bruno led off with a single and came around to score on Brock Stassi's RBI basehit to right. It was Stassi's first RBI of the season, and he finished with a second hit and a run scored. The Woodchucks grabbed two more in the fourth, when Sharif Othman took a 3-1 pitch from Express starter Matt McDaniel (2-1) over the wall in left for a 2-run homer. It was Othman's first homer of the season, and he hit a double in the ballgame as well. The Woodchucks would eventually lead 4-0 in the fifth when Kevin Pillar, who hit leadoff for the first time this season, singled, stole a pair of bases, and scored on Robbi de la Cruz's single down the first base line.
Eau Claire scored an unearned run in the 5th before the Woodchucks scored 4 more in the sixth off reliever Scott Marinier to stretch the lead to 8-1. The big blow in the inning was a two-run bomb off the bat of Chris Amezquita, his first of the year. Amezquita also had a double, and finished 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Don Lisi (2-0) started for the ‘Chucks and was effective through 5 innings, allowing no earned runs and only 3 hits while earning the win. Lisi struckout 3 and also got 10 infield outs, including 9 groundballs. Cory Hall relieved Lisi in the sixth, and pitched two innings, allowing the only earned run by Woodchucks pitching. Andrew Klausmeier pitched a perfect 8th with two strikeouts, while Anthony Drobnick pitched a ninth that included 3 Woodchucks fielding errors and one unearned run.
The Woodchucks play again tomorrow night as they begin a 3-game series in Iowa with the Waterloo Bucks (9-6).
Courtesy: Woodchucks Press Release