Zimmerman Stifles St. Cloud in 2-0 Eau Claire Win
St. Cloud, MN- The Express (23-11 Second Half, 38-32 Overall) took the second contest of a four-game set with the St. Cloud Rox (16-18 Second Half, 41-29 Overall) behind a fantastic outing on the mound by Ryan Zimmerman (St. Thomas) (5-2).
Zimmerman tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just seven of the Rox hitters he faced to reach base. Striking out six and walking two, the junior delivered one of the more clutch pitching performances of the 2017 season, as Eau Claire jumped back into sole possession of first place in the second half standings in the North Division.
Reliever Kenny Ogg (Ohio) made sure victory was never in doubt on Friday night, dominating in the eighth and ninth as he allowed just one hit over seven batters faced.
Designated hitter Adam LaRock (Iowa) scored the only necessary run of the game in the top of the second when he hustled home on a double steal. Second baseman Luke Bandy (Dallas Baptist) drove in the second run of the night in the eighth on an RBI single to left field, his only base hit of the night.
If the regular season ended today, the Express would be the second half champion of the North Division, meaning they would host the first round of the Northwoods League Playoffs at Carson Park on Monday night.
Currently holding onto a narrow one-game lead over the Mankato MoonDogs (22-12 Second Half, 42-28 Overall), Eau Claire could lock up the second half North Division crown with a win over St. Cloud at home tomorrow and a Mankato loss.
The Express will face the Rox again tomorrow, in a 6:35 PM matchup at Carson Park.
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.