Express Announce Return of Ogg and Rott
Eau Claire, Wis. – Two returning players from Ohio University were signed to the Express roster today, it was announced by Field Manager Dale Varsho. Pitcher Kenny Ogg and first baseman Rudy Rott both filled key roles on Eau Claire’s playoff team one year ago and bring some valuable Northwoods League experience to the 2017 team. The two sophomores bring Eau Claire’s roster to nine. The team will continue to announce player signings weekly until the beginning of the Northwoods League season.
Ogg appeared in 18 games last season for the Express, covering 45.1 innings. He finished with a 3-1 record and recorded 27 strikeouts. He was recruited initially as an infielder and converted to the mound in the fall of 2015. Because of that recent transition it was important for Ogg to get experience in the summer against quality competition. The sophomore right-hander saw improvement in his game in his first year of Northwoods League action.
“I had a great time last year playing for a coaching staff that made me a better player,” Ogg stated. “The atmosphere and fan base in Eau Claire makes every game fun. I developed a lot of great relationships with the families in Eau Claire and I am excited to go back this summer.”
Rott had a breakout freshman season for the Bobcats, hitting .319 with a .406 on-base percentage, which ranked him second on the team. He also ranked second in RBIs (39) and doubles (13). His first summer of Northwoods League action saw him bat .270 with a .392 on-base percentage. The Holmen, Wis. native was also solid in the field, finishing with a .994 fielding percentage. Like his teammate, Rott saw value in working with the Express coaching staff last summer.
“I wanted to come back to Eau Claire because of the great team atmosphere, fans and relationships developed with the coaches,” Rott said. “I am excited to come back and improve my game again this summer and play in a great environment at Carson Park.”
Field Manager Dale Varsho spoke on the importance of both players’ return to the 2017 team.
“Kenny was one of the key contributors to our success last year both on the field and in the clubhouse,” said Varsho. “His presence as a great teammate stands alone. Rudy had a great spring and summer for the Bobcats and the Express. I’m really looking forward to another outstanding summer from Rudy this year.”
The Express begin season number 13 in the Northwoods League on May 30 as they travel to Bismarck, N.D. for the inaugural series for the Bismarck Larks. They continue to Willmar to take on the Stingers for a two-game set before opening their home schedule at Carson Park on Saturday, June 3 versus the Mankato MoonDogs. First pitch of the home opener will be at 7:05 p.m. and the game will be followed by a fireworks show. Purchase your 5-Game Packs, including a reserved seat and unlimited food and beverage, online by clicking here or by contacting the Express office at 715-839-7788 or 102 E. Grand Ave. in downtown Eau Claire. Single-game tickets go on sale May 1.
The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.eauclaireexpress.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Express as your favorite team.