La Crosse, WI- Picking up their third win in four games, the Express (8-12) finished off a two-game sweep of the Loggers (7-15) in 7-3 in La Crosse Tuesday night.
Justin Evans led the charge offensively by going 2-4 with a double and homer. Evans accounted for five of the team’s seven runs batted in, providing major production out of the seven-hole in the lineup.
The Express bats, as a whole, have looked unstoppable these past couple of days, combining for 31 total hits and 18 runs in two games against the Loggers. After getting off to a horrendous start to the season, Eau Claire’s hitters have ratcheted the team’s batting average up to .250, jumping from last to ninth in the North Division in that category.
In his first start with Eau Claire, Ohio pitcher Gerry Salisbury (1-0) tossed six innings of one-run ball (that one run was unearned), on his way to picking up his first victory of the season. The junior left-hander put his ability to limit hard contact on display, allowing just two of the 24 batters he faced to reach base on a hit.
By avoiding any misplays in the field on Tuesday, Express remained tied for the second-least amount of errors in the NWL. Solid pitching and defense has been the back bone of 2017’s Eau Claire Express, and with Salisbury’s night on the mound and another zero on the scoreboard in the “E” column, that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
16 games from the end of the season’s first half, the Express currently sit 7.5 games back of first place in the North Division. While a first half championship looks improbable, these last two contests against the Loggers have seen Eau Claire raise their run differential on the year to seven, a sign that there are better things to come for a team sitting just notch below .500 at 8-12.
The Express will return to Carson Park Wednesday night to welcome the Rochester Honkers (10-11) into town for a two-game home stand. Gates open at 5:35 PM with first pitch penciled in for 6:35 PM.
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 170 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.