By Sean Giggy
(WAOW) - Eau Claire, WI - On a warm evening at Carson Park the Eau Claire Express offense remained red hot pounding out 11 runs and 11 hits to send the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters to their sixth straight loss, 11-2 Thursday night.
For the fourth straight game the Rafters scored in their first at-bat. Matt Cornwell led off with a walk then moved up to second on a wild pitch. After Derek Brown sacrificed Cornwell to third, Jenzen Torres singled to give the Rafters an early 1-0 lead. But the early offense did not continue. Express starter Matt McDaniel retired the next 12 batters he faced en route to six innings solid innings and his seventh win.
Trailing 5-2 into the seventh, the Rafters loaded the bases with one out but failed to score. Then in the bottom of the seventh the Express touched up Beck Wheeler for four runs and blew the game wide open. Wheeler, after a flawless sixth, surrendered an infield single to the first hitter he faced in the seventh. Then a walk, single, double and wild pitch helped Eau Claire to their four run inning.
In a tune-up for his final start of the season right hander Dan Johnson allowed the Express two runs on just two hits over three innings. Johnson did not walk a batter and retired Eau Claire in order in the second, but left the game trailing 2-1 and picked up his fifth loss of the season.
Jesse Arreola also worked Thursday in preparation for a Friday start. The lefty allowed a two run home run with two outs in the fourth to give the Express a lead the Rafters could never fully match. Arreola ended the night with three runs allowed on four hits over two innings.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Rapids Rafters