Northwoods League Announces 2018 Schedule
Eau Claire, Wis. – The Northwoods League is celebrating its 25th year of play in 2018 and today announced the game schedule for the upcoming season. The Eau Claire Express begin their 14th season of play in the league on the road on Tuesday, May 29 to begin a two-game set with the Rochester Honkers. The Express will then travel to La Crosse to take on the Loggers prior to beginning the home season against those same Loggers on Friday, June 1. The home opener will feature a postgame fireworks show and a first pitch time of 7:05 p.m.
The league will again play a 72-game schedule in 76 days, giving players the ultimate Minor League experience. The Express will again compete in the North Division. Divisional play will continue in 2018, as the league saw no expansion during the offseason. Regular season play begins Tuesday, May 29 and concludes on Sunday, August 12. Divisional playoffs take place August 13 and 14. Day one of the Divisional Playoffs will see the first and second half winners in each division host the two teams in each division with the next best overall record in a one-game playoff. The winners of those games will be matched up on day two of the Divisional Playoffs, with home-field advantage going to the team with the best overall record. The second round of Divisional Playoffs is also a one-game format, with the two winners advancing to the Championship Series. The Northwoods League Championship Series runs Wednesday, August 15 through Friday, August 17. The Championship Series is a best-of-three format.
Eau Claire’s home schedule will feature start times detailed below.
- Sunday Home Games – 2:05 p.m.
- Monday – Thursday Home Games – 6:35 p.m.
- July 4 – 5:05 p.m.
- August 1 – 1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. (Doubleheader)
- Friday Home Games – 7:05 p.m.
- Saturday Home Games – 6:35 p.m.
Start times for the Express feature a couple of key changes. New in 2018, Sunday games will be played at 2:05 p.m. as a result of fan feedback requesting to bring more daytime baseball to Carson Park. The popular July 4 game will also see a change in start time, moving up to 5:05 p.m. from 6:05 p.m. Postgame entertainment will lead up to the City of Eau Claire’s fireworks show, with details to be announced at a later date.
Eau Claire will play 16 of its 36 home games in the first half of the season, which wraps up in Willmar, Minn. on July 3. The Express schedule features 16 home games in June, 12 in July and eight in August. The league was kind to Eau Claire in scheduling of weekend games. Carson Park will be home to Northwoods League baseball on seven Fridays during the summer (all of which will include postgame fireworks) and five Saturdays.
The league will again have two scouting events. The annual All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 24 at a location to be determined. The sixth annual Big League Dreams Showcase doubleheader will be held at Warner Park in Madison just two weeks later. Both events showcase the top prospects in the Northwoods League annually to scouts from every team in Major League Baseball.
Season tickets and 5-Game Packs are now on sale at the Express office. Returning to the 5-Game Pack is the unlimited food and a reserved seat for five games. New in 2018 are the free gifts including an Express jersey, hat and souvenir mug along with the opportunity to take batting practice on the field. Packages are available online or by calling 715-839-7788 for only $70, which amounts to $14 per game. Single-game tickets will go on sale for all games on May 1. The full North Division schedule can be found here. To download the entire Express schedule onto an internet or phone calendar, copy and paste this link:
into any computer or phone where it asks for the URL to subscribe to a public calendar.
The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 185 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-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 (LAD) and Lucas Duda (TB). 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.