Express Walk-Off Bucks in 1-0 Thriller
Eau Claire, WI- With two outs in the bottom of the 10th in a 0-0 ballgame, Eau Claire’s Zach Ashford (Fresno State) delivered the game winning hit on a double that got past the diving Waterloo leftfielder, allowing Zach Gilles (Central Michigan) to score from first base for the walk-off win.
Express (20-24) starting pitcher Luke Eldred (Dallas Baptist) carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before a seeing eye single by Charlie Concannon (St. Joesph’s PA) broke it up with two outs. Eldred would go on to face 26 batters through eight innings, allowing just three Bucks (27-16) to reach base, all of them on singles.
Eldred struck out six and walked none while pounding the zone, throwing 65 of his 99 pitches on the evening for strikes. Eldred hasn’t walked a batter since June 1st in his second start of the year, and tonight, brought his seasonal strikeout-to-walk ratio up to 26/2.
The aforementioned Gilles would find himself on base on several occasions Tuesday night, trotting down to first after ball four three times. In the bottom of the tenth, Gilles drew a full count, two-out free pass to set up the fantastic finish, as he raced around the bases all the way home once Ashford’s hit bounced by Cancannon in left.
Tomorrow the Express will return to Carson Park for the final time before an eight day stretch of road games and days off for the All-Star break. Eau Claire will be facing the Bucks once again in that one, with first pitch scheduled 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 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 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.