EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Waterloo’s first Northwoods League playoff appearance since 2013 came to a quiet end Tuesday night as Eau Claire finished off the Bucks, 7-0.
The Express, who defeated Waterloo 2-1 in the opening game of the best-of-three series Monday, advance to play in the Great Plains title game Thursday.
Waterloo (34-39) got off to a rough start Tuesday and never recovered.
Eau Claire (41-32) plated six runs in the first inning against Bucks starter Noah Conlon. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases ahead of David LaManna’s two-run single. Subsequent runs scored on a sacrifice fly, a two-out wild pitch, Cole Cabrera’s RBI single and a bases-loaded walk.
After four hits, three walks, two wild pitches and a hit batsman, Alec Holcomb replaced Conlon and got the third out of the inning.
Holcomb, Jimmy Smiley and Peyton Fuller shut it down from there with the only Express run coming on an error in the second inning that made it 7-0.
However, Waterloo was unable to get anything going against Eau Claire starter Craig Colen or reliever Paul Petit.
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Colen came into the game with a 2-3 record and a 5.62 earned-run average, but he faced the minimum of 14 batters through the first 4 2/3 innings and allowed just two singles before departing in the seventh.
Eau Claire 7, Waterloo 0
Waterloo 000 000 000 — 0 2 2
Eau Claire 610 000 00x — 7 8 3
Conlon, Holcomb (1), Smiley (4), Fuller (8) and Rubalcaba. Colen, Petit (7) and Martinez. WP — Colen. LP — Conlon. 2B — Kohnle (EC).
Records: Waterloo 34-39, Eau Claire 41-32.