Cavaliers Drop 40th anniversary Home Opener

June 1, 2010

The Eau Claire Cavaliers allowed six runs in the first two innings of Monday's 40th anniversary home opener, leading to a 7-3 loss to the Eau Claire Bears.

Wisconsin State League

The Eau Claire Bears took just two innings to put the game outof reach as they defeated the Eau Claire Cavaliers, 7-3, on Mondayin front of 457 fans at Carson Park.

The Bears’ seasoned offense took advantage of a rough outing byMark Shaver to score six runs in the first two frames.

“We were very patient at the plate today,” Bears manager andoutfielder Reed Pecha said. “If they’re willing to give us a walk,we’ll take it.”

Shaver (0-1) walked five and gave up four hits for six earnedruns while only striking out one.

In the top of the first, Eau Claire Memorial graduate ColinBoone doubled off the right-field fence and scored when Matt Prosek- a North graduate – drew a bases-loaded walk. Chris Flater lined asingle to center, scoring Jim Thill and Scott Wolfe later in theinning.

“They hit the ball well and they capitalized on mistakes wemade,” Cavs manager Mark McHorney said. “The Bears are just a goodquality team.”

Not that the Bears needed much offense with veteran Matt Lundeon the mound.

Lunde threw a complete game and struck out five while allowingjust two earned runs on 11 hits and only two free passes.

“Matt does such a good job of changing eye levels and working inand out,” Pecha said. “He’s got a nice little slider that he throwsand it’s just enough where it keeps hitters off pace. We get a lotof ground-ball outs when he’s on the mound.”

Lunde forced nine groundouts and eight flyouts. The Bearsdefense turned three double plays behind him.

“With our team all we have to do is throw strikes and get groundballs,” Lunde said. “All I have to do is get the ball in play andour guys will make the plays for me.”

Lunde said that coming into the game with a lead allows the gameto be run at his pace – a key factor in a game filled with playerswho are still shaking off the dust from the offseason.

“Anytime you can go out there with even a run or two it relaxesyou,” Lunde said. “Then you know you just need to throw strikes.Sometimes you get those close games and there’s more tension butwhen you get a few runs right away it’s always nice.”

With players coming and going due to various conflictsthroughout the season, Pecha knows the importance of saving thebullpen.

“Anytime that you’re able to have one pitcher go, it gives youso many more options,” Pecha said. “Sometimes you run into troubleand you might have to use a handful of pitchers, but if you haveone guy who can take the pressure off on one game then you havemore options later in the week.”

The Cavaliers slowly chipped away at the lead but Lunde’s armand the various gloves of the Bears proved to be the difference.The Cavaliers saw a few scoring opportunities slip away as theyexecuted poor baserunning and saw an abundance of alert defensiveplays from the Bears.

“We had a couple of baserunning mistakes that cost us,” McHorneysaid. “We easily had two or three more runs that we ran ourselvesout of.”

Nevertheless, with the young season just underway both teamswere simply looking for a good, competitive game of baseball.

“It’s just fun,” Lunde said. “It’s a fun atmosphere and theatmosphere is what fuels it. You’ve got some of the guys that are10, 12 years out of high school and then you have some guys who arejust a few years out so it’s a great sign that there’s goodbaseball here in Eau Claire.”

Several members of the Bears and Cavaliers were not inattendance for Monday’s game, as they were competing for theirrespective collegiate teams in the College World Series.

The Cavaliers’ Brad Archambeau and Ryan Iverson were withUW-Stevens Point at the NCAA Division III World Series in GrandChute. The Pointers were eliminated after falling to Heidelberg,8-3, on Sunday. They finished the season 34-17.

Tanner Vavra (Cavs) and Chevy Tollefson (Bears) also were not inattendance, as they were with Madison Area Technical College in theNJCAA Division II World Series. The WolfPack will play at noontoday against the loser of LSU Eunice and Paradise Valley CommunityCollege in an elimination game.

Story by: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram and WEAU 13 News
Photo by: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

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