THUNDER BAY – The losses continue to mount for the Thunder Bay Border Cats.
Eau Claire starter Tanner Kohlhepp tossed eight innings of five-hit, shutout baseball on Saturday night, leading the Express to a 6-0 win over the Border Cats in front of 844 fans at Port Arthur Stadium, sending the host squad to its third straight defeat.
The Express broke open a 1-0 contest in the seventh, scoring three times against reliever D.J. DePiero to put the game out of reach.
Sam Kohnle had the big hit of the inning, doubling in a pair with the bases loaded. Brandon Dieter followed with an RBI single, upping the Eau Claire lead to 4-0.
They’d add to more in the eighth on DePiero, who gave up five runs on six hits over two innings of work.
Cole Cabrera came home on a Brock Burton single, after leading off with a double and subsequently stealing third.
Burton later scored on a wild pitch.
Thunder Bay’s best chance at the dish came in the second, when Conor Allard opened with a double and went to third on a Joe Jimenez single.
Allard would move no further.
Nate Soriano and C.J. Breen struck out, and after Karsten Vasquez walked to load the bases, J.J. Rollon also went down swinging as Kohlhepp wound up striking out the side en route to a 15-strikeout night.
Cats starter Ryan Windham went six strong, allowing a single run on two hits and a walk, striking out two.
Kohlhepp set down 14 Thunder Bay batters in a row at one point, until Joe Jimenez singled with one out in the sixth.
The Cats (2-13) and Express (10-5) will meet up again on Sunday afternoon. Game time is 1:35 p.m.