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Cavs Continue Hot Start to Season

May 27, 2014

Five games into the season and the Eau Claire Cavaliers are already white hot.

Wisconsin State League

Five games into the season and the Eau Claire Cavaliers are already white hot.

With the help of some timely hitting and a pitching staff that bent but didn’t break, the Cavaliers capped off a five-game homestand with their fifth straight win, 9-7 over the Eau Claire Bears on Monday at Carson Park.

Tyler Duex led the Cavaliers at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs.

He had a two-out, two-run triple in the fourth inning to give the Cavaliers a 4-3 lead and again delivered the go-ahead RBI with a two-out single in the sixth.

“Everybody is just doing their job,” said Duex, a Chippewa Falls graduate. “We know we can win now. We know we can hit. We should be able to win some games and make a push for the Wisconsin State League title.”

Jacob Jenneman threw the first five innings for the Cavaliers and surrendered three runs while striking out three.

He was relieved by Cory Bonner, who struck out three in three innings and allowed one unearned run to earn the win.

Chevy Tollefson started for the Bears (8-4) and threw the first five innings, dueling back and forth with Jenneman.

Altoona graduate Jake Eckardt relieved Tollefson in the sixth and was bit by Duex’s RBI single and a Ryan Connor two-run single that gave the Cavaliers the lead for good.

“They had that three-run sixth inning which really hurt us,” Bears manager and right fielder Reed Pecha said. “We had a couple of chances to make plays in that inning and come out of it at most giving up a run, and obviously you look at the final score and two runs were the difference. That hurt us.

“That’s kind of been the way things have gone this year, especially against the tougher teams. But that’s the game. Any time we play these guys we know it’s going to be tough. You almost have to play essentially flawless to beat these guys.”

The Cavaliers added two insurance runs in the eighth inning as Eric Cottrell singled to score Duex and Altoona graduate Taylor Rathke hit a sacrifice fly to score Brian Burman.

Mitch DeGrasse lifted a three-run homer onto the football field with no outs in the ninth to breathe some life back into the Bears, but Mitsuo Nakamura settled down and got the final three outs to end the game.

“I always love this game,” Cavaliers manager Mark McHorney said of the intracity matchup. “I like what my guys did. Obviously the two runs in the last inning were big.”

Connor finished 2-for-4 and Cottrell was 2-for-5 for the Cavaliers, while the Bears’ Sam Janni went 2-for-3 and Matt Miller picked up a pair of hits against his former team.

“We’re not quite  clicking completely  offensively yet,” Pecha said. “It hasn’t been a situation where we’ve been able to get everybody together. It’s kind of been hit or miss, and you scrape across a few runs and hope that your pitching and defense can hold on for you.

“Once we get the top of the order to put a few more balls in play I think you’ll see us scoring more runs.”

The Bears will host the Hudson River Rats at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Carson Park, while the Cavaliers will travel to play Chaseburg-Coon Valley on Saturday.


Cavaliers 9, Bears 7

BEARS (7)

AB-R-H-RBI: Matt Miller, ss, 4-0-2-1; Reed Pecha, rf, 3-0-0-0; Palmer Buss, rf, 0-0-0-0; Brian Menard, dh, 5-0-0-0; Jim Thill, 2b, 2-1-1-0; Mitch DeGrasse, cf, 5-3-4-3; Sam Janni, c, 3-1-2-0; Dominic Berlin, 3b/p, 5-0-1-0; Jordan Dickerson, lf, 3-1-1-2; Chevy Tollefson, p, 0-0-0-0; Hayden Bowe, pr, 0-1-0-0; Jimmy Tontillo, 3b, 1-0-0-0; Jake Eckardt, p, 0-0-0-0. Totals 31-7-11-6.

CAVALIERS (9)

Masaki Onose, 2b, 4-2-1-0; Tyler Duex, ss, 4-3-3-3; Brian Burman, c, 3-2-1-0; Ryan Connor, rf, 4-0-2-2; Eric Cottrell, 3b, 5-0-2-2; Taylor Rathke, dh, 4-0-1-1; Tyler Black, lf, 5-0-1-0; Naoki Otani, cf, 3-2-1-0; Drew Davis, 1b, 4-0-0-0; Jacob Jenneman, p, 0-0-0-0; Cory Bonner, p, 0-0-0-0; Mitsuo Nakamura, p, 0-0-0-0. Totals 36-9-14-8.

Bears 020 101 003 — 7 11 2

Cavaliers 101 203 02x — 9 14 3

E — Thill, Miller; Cottrell, Duex, Davis. LOB — Bears 11, Cavaliers 10. 2B — Thill, Miller. 3B — Duex. HR — DeGrasse. SB — Berlin. SAC — Rathke.

Bears IP H R ER BB SO

Tollefson 5 7 4 3 2 3

Eckardt, L 2 6 5 5 2 2

Berlin 1 1 0 0 0 1

Cavaliers

Jenneman 5 8 3 3 1 3

Bonner, W 3 1 1 0 2 3

Nakamura 1 2 3 3 2 1

WP — Eckardt. PB — Janni. HBP — by Eckardt (Otani).

Story by: Ben Peterson, Eau Claire Ledger-Telegram

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