Mankato, MN- Following a weekend full of run scoring in Bismarck, the Express (10-7 Second Half, 25-28 Overall) took down the Mankato MoonDogs (11-6 Second Half, 31-22 Overall) 2-1 in a Monday night pitcher’s duel at Franklin Rogers Park.
Picking up the win and tossing a gem on the mound for Eau Claire was Aaron Shortridge (California) (5-2), who allowed just one run on two hits over seven dominant innings. Striking out six and walking one in this one, Shortridge improved his BB/K rate to a stellar 10/40, illustrating his ability to fool hitter’s efficiently without issuing free passes.
Kenny Ogg (Ohio) pitched the eighth and ninth in relief of Shortridge, facing just six Mankato hitters and striking out two of them en route to scoring his first save of the season.
Although they ended up nabbing just two hits off Shortridge on the night, the MoonDogs offense would deliver the first blow in the bottom of the first when Kyle Cuellar (UCLA) knocked in a run on an RBI-single.
Both offenses would remain dormant until the top of the fifth when Eau Claire right fielder Dayton Bryden (UW Whitewater) was hit by a pitch and eventually came around to tie the game at 1-1 on a fielder’s choice.
The ballgame remained tied until the top of the seventh when Express third baseman Scott Ogrin (Cal Poly) led off the frame with a solo home run that knocked MoonDogs starter Ricky Digrugilliers (Minnesota State) (4-3) out of the game. Shortridge and Ogg combined to retire the next nine Mankato batters in order to put a bow on Eau Claire’s fourth-straight victory.
The Express and MoonDogs will go at it once more tomorrow night at 7:05 PM in Mankato.
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.