Northwoods League Announces 2017 Schedule
Eau Claire, Wis. – The schedule for the 24th season of Northwoods League play was announced today by the league. The Eau Claire Express, beginning their 13th season of play, open the 2017 campaign as the opponent of the expansion Bismarck Larks in their inaugural game and home opener on Tuesday, May 30. The team finishes the two-game set the next night before traveling to Willmar, Minn. to take on the Stingers for a two-game series. Eau Claire opens at home on Saturday, June 3 and takes on the Mankato MoonDogs. The game will feature a 7:05 p.m. first pitch to accommodate a postgame fireworks show and gates will open at 6:00 p.m.
The league will again play a 72-game schedule in 76 days, giving players the ultimate Minor League experience. The Express will again compete in the North Division. With two new franchises in 2017, the schedule features only divisional play. The addition of the Bismarck Larks and Fond du Lac Dock Spiders bring the Northwoods League to 20 teams. Regular season play begins Tuesday, May 30 and concludes on Sunday, August 13. Divisional playoffs take place August 14 and 15. Day one of the Divisional Playoffs will see the first and second half winners in each division host the two teams in each division with the next best overall record in a one-game playoff. The winners of those games will be matched up on day two of the Divisional Playoffs, with home-field advantage going to the team with the best overall record. The second round of Divisional Playoffs is also a one-game format, with the two winners advancing to the Championship Series. The Northwoods League Championship Series runs Wednesday, August 16 through Friday, August 18. The Championship Series is a best-of-three format.
Eau Claire’s home schedule will feature start times detailed below.
- Sunday Home Games – 5:05 p.m.
- Monday – Thursday Home Games – 6:35 p.m.
- July 4 – 6:05 p.m.
- July 26 – 1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. (Doubleheader)
- Friday Home Games – 7:05 p.m.
- Saturday Home Games – 6:35 p.m.
- June 3 – 7:05 p.m.
For the fourth year in a row, the Northwoods League schedule features two day/night doubleheaders. This year’s opponent is the Willmar Stingers. Tuesday, June 13 will feature two games at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar, with game one beginning at 1:05 p.m. and game two beginning at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, July 26 will feature the second doubleheader, this time at Carson Park in Eau Claire. Game one will begin on that date at 1:05 p.m. with the nightcap finishing the series at 7:05 p.m.
Eau Claire will play 17 of its 36 home games in the first half of the season, which wraps up at Carson Park on July 4. The Express schedule features 15 home games in June, 14 in July and seven in August. The league was kind to Eau Claire in scheduling of weekend games. Carson Park will be home to Northwoods League baseball on five Fridays during the summer (all of which will include postgame fireworks) and six Saturdays.
The league will again have two scouting events. The annual All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 18 at the newly renovated Athletic Park in Wausau, Wis. The fifth annual Big League Dreams Showcase doubleheader will be held at Warner Park in Madison just three weeks later. Both events showcase the top prospects in the Northwoods League annually to scouts from every team in Major League Baseball.
To purchase season tickets or 5-Game Packs please contact the Express office by calling 715-839-7788 or by stopping by the office at 102 E. Grand Ave. in downtown Eau Claire. Single-game tickets will go on sale for all games on May 1. The full North Division schedule can be found here. The full Express schedule can be found by clicking here and then clicking “view all dates”.
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 (CWS), 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.