Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Over the past few years, the crosstown rivalry between Eau Claire North and Eau Claire Memorial has been a virtual dead heat. In their 12 head-to-head matchups, both teams are 6-6, splitting their 4 playoff games against each other over that span.
They will meet for the first time this season Tuesday night at Carson Park. The Huskies are the two-time defending Sectional Champions, and currently sit at 11-1 overall, boasting a perfect 6-0 record in Big Rivers Conference play. That includes sweeps over Chippewa Falls and Wausau West, both in the past week, and head coach Bob Johnson think his team is battle-tested.
"I'm happy with the results last week. Obviously Wausau West came over with their two top guns, and both of those are college pitchers, So once again, we feel pretty good about Saturday," Johnson explains, "This week brings new challenges, there's outstanding pitchers on the other side of town, they're a great baseball team, and they're well coached."
"We want to get the bats rolling right away, be clean in the field, and you've got to come out, be intense, be loud right away," says senior Ryan Venne, "North-Memorial games, anything can happen. It's always competitive each game we play them."
The Abes, meanwhile, are hitting their stride at the right time. Memorial is 9-3 overall, 4-2 in the Big Rivers, with losses to Chippewa falls and River falls on their resume. But the Abes know they have a solid pitching staff to rely on, so their game plan is to get the bats going.
"I feel like we've got to focus on our hitting," senior Jacob Shoemaker says, "We've got to really attack that first pitch, and just be very aggressive at the plate, and our defense will follow."
"Our focus is to score runs, really, whether we have to manufacture them, or whether we get some big hits," head coach Dan Roehl intones, "We need guys to play in their role at the right time, whether that's a bunt or a hit and run, or whether that's just getting a big clutch hit up the middle, staying within yourself and getting a big hit at the right time."
First pitch between the Huskies and Old Abes is scheduled for 6 p.m., Tuesday night.