Eau Claire - The ‘Chucks dropped their second game of the season, 6—4, as they travelled to Carson Park in Eau Claire to take on the Express.
Eau Claire made the game's first foray into the run column, scoring two off of ‘Chucks starter AJ Carman. After two outs were recorded, DeMarcus Tidwell walked, before a Josh Sheffert ground-rule double. Following a Nolan Clark walk, Carman hit Nick Addison on the helmet and allowed a single to Ty Forney, plating two runs.
With only four listed pitchers available on the night, starter AJ Carman was a victim of the Northwoods League's 35-pitch rule, which disallows a pitcher to start an inning after throwing 35 pitches in one frame.
Jordan Luvisi made his 2011 debut in relief of Carman, but didn't fare any better in the second frame, allowing the Express to bat around and score three-before also succumbing to the 35 pitch rule.
Beginning the third inning, only two pitchers remained in the bullpen, with one having played the previous night.
After throwing 1.1 innings of relief on Wednesday, Woodchucks' reliever Jonathon Boersma threw a valiant, effective six innings, allowing only one run on six hits.
The ‘Chucks' bats lie dormant through the third inning, before Robbie De La Cruz ignited a three-run rally with a leadoff single.
Shain Stoner and Austin Coleman subsequently singled, in-between a deep Dimitri De La Fuente flyout, before all three runners advanced on a passed ball. With De La Cruz scoring, catcher Mitch Manning knocked in both remaining runners with a clutch single, making the score 5—3 Express.
The Woodchucks' lumber, discounting the fourth-inning rally, was stymied by Express' starter Matt McDaniel, who went six innings, giving up six hits, one walk and three runs, while striking out five
Harvey Martin took over for McDaniel in the seventh, allowing only two base runners and no runs in his two innings of work.
The ‘Chucks made a run in the top of the ninth, scoring one run and putting the go-ahead run at the plate with two down. However, the side-armed Express reliever, Mahlon Zimmerman, worked out of the jam, closing out the game with an Express victory, 6—4.
Matt McDaniel took the win for the Express, while starter AJ Carman took the loss for the ‘Chucks. Zimmerman recorded his first save of the season.
Eau Claire produced six runs off of 10 hits and an error, while the Woodchucks mustered four runs on six hits.
After falling to 0—2 on the short season, the ‘Chucks will look to salvage a game in this season-opening three-game series with the Eau Claire Express on Friday night in Wausau.