A two-run third inning, kept alive by an error, was enough to lead the Eau Claire Express to a 5-3 Northwoods League victory over Brainerd Saturday.
After a Joe Bonfe walk, Ryan Lee reached on Jared McDonald's error at short. Express catcher Braden Degamo singled to drive in both runners and had Eau Claire a 3-1 edge.
Brainerd cut the deficit to one as Devon Ramirez walked, stole second and scored on throwing error after McDonald laid down a bunt.
The Express answered in the bottom of the fifth before McDonald blasted a solo home run down the right field line to climb back to within one.
Again Eau Claire answered with a run in the bottom half of the seventh for the final score.
Express closer Kole Calhoun pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save of the season. He struck out all three batters he faced.
Brainerd's Adam Kohls pitched the loss. He allowed four runs, two earned on three hits and seven walks. He struck out two.
Michael Gedman relieved Kohls in the fifth and allowed two hits, one unearned run and three walks. He also struck out two.
Brainerd falls to 3-7 heading into the All-Star break.
Brainerd 010 010 100 - 3 6 2
Eau Claire 102 010 10x - 5 5 3
Brainerd: Adam Kohls, Michael Gedman (5) and Tim Winslow
Eau Claire: D.J. Mauldin, Drew Leary (8), Kole Calhoun (9) and Braden Degamo
WP: Mauldin (1-1). LP: Kohls (0-1). Sv: Calhoun (7).
HR: Brd-Jared McDonald
SB: Brd-Adam Pettersen, Devon Ramirez; EC-Joe Bonfe
S: Brd-McDonald; EC-Dominic Piazza
RBIs: Brd-McDonald, Kyle Sisney; EC-Bonfe, Piazza, Degamo 2
DP: Brd 1
Records: Brd 3-7, EC 4-4
Next: Northwoods League All-Star Game, Madison, Wis. 7:05 p.m. Monday.
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