Salisbury Leads Express to 5-0 Win Over Rox
Tossing eight shutout innings in his most dominant start of the season, Gerry Salisbury (Ohio University) (3-1) gave Eau Claire (5-5 Second Half, 20-26 Overall) a lights out pitching performance to safely deliver a 5-0 win over the Rox (3-7 Second Half, 28-18 Overall) Friday night.
In his fifth start of the season for the Express, the left-handed Salisbury turned in an ace-like performance as he struck out seven and walked just two, en route to picking up his third win of the season. Those seven strikeouts were the most the junior has recorded in a single outing this season, flashing an ability to miss bats with ease that that has been absent from his game thus far in Eau Claire.
Salisbury lowered his seasonal ERA 5.73 to 4.20 with Friday’s fantastic output, while also improving his BB/K rate from 10/11 to 13/18.
Although they knocked in five runs on the evening, the Express lineup probably deserved more in what would end up being a 13-hit bombardment of the Rox pitching staff. Eau Claire punched out four doubles as a unit, with Zach Ashford (Fresno State) and Luke Bandy (Dallas Baptist) each putting up three-hit showings.
Ashford opened up the scoring with an RBI-double in the third to bring home Justin Evans (Columbus State) before striking once more in the fifth with a single that scored Bandy to make it 2-0. Eau Claire would continue to extend the gap in the fifth when Matt Duce (Dallas Baptist) knocked in a run on a groundout before Scott Ogrin (Cal Poly) put the nail in the coffin with a two-RBI single in the sixth.
Up 5-0 in the ninth, the Express turned to Chase Dreger (Colby CC), whom allowed the leadoff man to reach base on a single before retiring the next three Rox hitters in order to seal the win.
Eau Claire will travel to La Crosse to face Loggers at 6:05 PM Saturday night. The Express send right-hander Aaron Shortridge (California) (4-1) to the mound to make the fifth start of what has been a spectacular season for the right-handed sophomore thus far.
In 33 innings pitched for Eau Claire this season, Shortridge is the owner of a 2.54 ERA and 28-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his last start back on July 9th in Duluth, Shortridge dazzled through eight one-run innings, as he whiffed eight and walked none in an Express victory.
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, more than 180 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