Eau Claire, WI- Nine innings pitched, zero earned runs. It was that kind of night for Express pitcher Gerry Salisbury (Ohio) (5-2) as he weaved together a complete game shutout to guide Eau Claire (18-10 Second Half, 33-31 Overall) to a 1-0 win over, and series sweep of, the Duluth Huskies (14-15 Second Half, 29-35 Overall).
Efficiently carving through the Huskies lineup with surgeon-like precision, Salisbury needed just 111 pitches to finish the job after pumping the zone with 73 strikes. Although he did plenty to flash his ability to miss bats with five strikeouts, the left-hander’s bread and butter on Friday night was the weak groundball, as he surrendered just a handful of hard hit balls during his time on the bump.
On a night in which he didn’t need any run support, the Eau Claire offense provided Salisbury with the bare minimum, scoring their only run of the game on a solo homer by third baseman Kyle Marinconz (Cal Poly) in the bottom of the fifth.
The long ball by Marinzonz extended his current hit streak to five games, as the freshman has done a great job of turning things around at the plate recently.
With a Mankato loss and Willmar win, the Express now find themselves in a two way tie atop the North Division second half standings alongside the Stingers. Going 12-3 over their last 15 games played, Eau Claire has pulled itself within striking distance of the overall North Division just four games behind the first place MoonDogs.
The Express will welcome the Thunder Bay Border Cats to Carson Park tomorrow night at 6:35 PM. Ryan Zimmeramn (St Thomas) (3-2) is scheduled to start on the mound for Eau Claire in that one, after being scratched from tonight’s game just a few hours before first pitch.
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.