EAU CLAIRE, Wis (Woodchucks-WSAU) The Wisconsin Woodchucks scored nine runs in the first three innings in their final game before the All-Star break to ease to a 12-3 victory over the Eau Claire Express.
The Woodchucks mounted a two-out rally against Express starter Sean Renzi to get on the board in the first inning. After three consecutive walks by Renzi, Joe Serrano doubled to left field to score Eric Filia-Snyder and Brendon Hayden and give the Woodchucks an early 2-0 lead.
The Express would tie the ballgame up with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the first. All-Star Casey Gillaspie came to the plate with Tim Zier on first and one out, and he blasted his eighth home run of the season off of Woodchuck starter Jake Peter, making it a 2-2 game.
The Woodchucks would answer right back in the top of the second as they scored two for the second consecutive inning. Brooks Braga and Gage Green both singled to start off the inning against reliever Matt Lynch before a wild throw by right fielder Nick Addison allowed both runners to advance to second and third. Braga scored on a wild pitch by Lynch, and Green scored on the next pitch as Mike Bernal singled to left, putting the ‘Chucks on top 4-2.
After the Express failed to score in their half of the second, the flood gates opened for the Woodchucks in the third. The ‘Chucks scored five runs on five hits as they sent 10 batters to the plate. Bernal and Hayden both had two-run singles, and Filia-Snyder picked up an RBI on a groundout as the ‘Chucks leapt to a 9-2 lead.
The score would remain 9-2 until Chevas Numata scored for the Woodchucks in the sixth on a single by Nate Irving to extend the lead to eight runs. It was Irving’s third multi-hit game in the three-game set.
After the ‘Chucks tacked on one more run in the eighth on an RBI-single by Madison Carter to make it 11-2, Casey Gillaspie showed again why he is an All-Star. Gillaspie hit an opposite field shot to left, recording his ninth home run of the season, and his second multi-home run game against the Woodchucks to cut the lead to 11-3.
The ‘Chucks would tack on one more run in the ninth on an RBI double by Irving, wrapping up Irving’s night at 3-5 with two RBI’s. The Woodchucks would close out the Express in the ninth to take the 12-3 victory and the sweep of Eau Claire, improving to 15-2 in the second half.
The Woodchucks will be off for the next three days due to the All-Star break, with the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Madison. The ‘Chucks will resume play on Thursday at 6:35 at Athletic Park against the Green Bay Bullfrogs for the first of a five-game homestand. Hear the game on Fox Sports 1390.