Express Drop Series Opener in Waterloo, 8-3
Waterloo, IA- Jumping all over the Express (14-19) with a six-sun first inning, the Bucks (22-11) welcomed Eau Claire to Waterloo by handing them an 8-3 loss.
Express starting pitcher Ryan Zimmerman (1-2) continued the recent trend of Eau Claire starters experiencing massive amounts of first inning problems, surrendering six runs on seven hits in what would be his only frame of work for the night. For the second consecutive night, the starting pitcher for the Express was forced to be relieved after hitting the 35-pitch limit in the first inning of play. Zimmerman did not record a single walk or strikeout in the inning, facing ten Waterloo batters before recording the final out of his 35th pitch.
Eau Claire relievers Jake Moebius and Cody Dye handled the last eight innings of the evening quite well, combining to give up two runs (both allowed by Moebius) while permitting just three Bucks base hits.
On the offensive end, the Express were lead by shortstop Justin Evans, who cracked his team-leading fourth home run of the year with the bases empty in the fourth. Zach Ashford and Ty Greene were responsible for the other two RBI for Eau Claire, while Beau Capanna was the only Express hitter to reach base twice on a night the Express offense combined to draw zero walks.
Failing to draw a single base-on-balls could lead one to believe that Eau Claire entered Saturday’s contest with an overly aggressive mindset. However, the Express bats went down swinging just six times as a group, making it apparent that Waterloo starter Hunter Spencer (4-2) was primarily responsible for Eau Claire’s inability to draw free passes as he exhibited pinpoint control throughout his six innings pitched.
The two teams meet up once again tomorrow afternoon at Riverfront stadium, as Gerry Salisbury (2-0) will be on the mound to make his third start in an Express uniform this season. First pitch is set to be delivered by Bucks starter Jared Crescentini (1-2) at 2:05 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.