Express Split Games with Loggers
Eau Claire, WI – The Eau Claire Express (5-5) and the La Crosse Loggers (9-2) played two on Friday night. To start the evening, the teams continued a game that was suspended due to rain the night before in La Crosse. After a short break between games, the regularly scheduled 9 inning game was played.
It was a pitchers’ duel to begin the game in La Crosse. Josh Gaworski (Concordia-St Paul) got the start for the Express and made one early mistake to the very first Logger he faced. Braiden Ward hit an inside the park home run in the first at-bat of the bottom of the first to put La Crosse up 1-0. Gaworski went 5.1 innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out five on the night. Zach Grech (Stanford) entered in the 6th inning and was on the mound until the game was suspended in the top of the 8th inning. Grech would finish the game at Carson Park. Over the two days, he went 2.2 innings, giving up two runs (no earned) off two hits and two walks.
The offense came to life in the top of the 5th inning. Nick Brueser (Stanford) started with an infield single. David LaManna (Notre Dame) doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Adam LaRock (MATC) reached on an error that allowed Brueser to score and LaManna to get to third. Devon Garcia (Ohio) drove in two on a triple to right field. Garcia would later score on a groundout.
Cody Milligan (Oklahoma State) would deliver the big hit for the Express in the top of the 8th. He hit an RBI triple, scoring Noah Sifrit (Oklahoma State), to give the Express the 5-4 lead. That was the last play of the night in La Crosse as weather conditions worsened at Copeland Park and the game was suspended.
La Crosse would win game one at Carson Park with a final of 6-5 after the tying and go-ahead runs scored on an E1.
The Express defeated the Loggers, 6-1, in game 2. Eau Claire’s ace and arguably the best starter in the Northwoods League, Justin Slaten got the start for the Express in game 2. Slaten threw five innings, allowing one run to score on only three hits and one walk. The Northwoods League strikeout leader was back at it again, fanning nine Loggers to bring his season total to 61. In eight starts he has compiled a 1.18 ERA, the best in the league. Noah Sifrit (Oklahoma State) entered in the 6th to pitch two scoreless innings. The freshman walked one and recorded one strikeout. Phillip Sikes (New Mexico) ended the game, not allowing a hit or run in the 8th or 9th innings. Sikes struck out three.
Eau Claire scored one in the 1st inning. Cody Milligan singled and advanced to third on a Scott Ogrin (Cal Poly) double. Milligan scored on an RBI single hit by Nick Brueser. The 4th inning brought more Express runs. Andrew Pratt (Lubbock Christian) led off with a ground rule double. Nick Brueser crushed a two run shot over the left field wall in the next at bat to give the Express a 3-1 lead.
The Express quickly loaded the bases to start the 5th inning. Cody Milligan and Scott Ogrin both singled and Andrew Pratt walked. Nick Brueser hit an RBI single to score Milligan. Ogrin would come in to score on a fielder’s choice hit by Ryan Bishop (Dallas Baptist).
Eau Claire added one more in the 8th inning. In his first game back with the Express, Zach Gilles (Central Michigan) reached on an error by the second baseman. Cody Milligan advanced him to second with a single and Gilles scored on an RBI single by Scott Ogrin.
The Express travel to Waterloo for a two game set on Saturday and Sunday before a league wide off day on Monday, July 16th. They return home to Carson Park on Tuesday, July 17th for a 6:35 pm first pitch. It will be Babies at the Ballpark night! Fans are encouraged to bring diapers to the ballpark to be donated to the Family Resource Center. Between inning games will also be baby themed!
Season tickets and 5-Game Packs are on sale now. 5-Game Packs include a reserved seat, Express jersey, Express hat, Express mug, and unlimited food and beverage for $70. Click here to purchase your 5-Game Pack online and we will contact you about your seats. You can also call us at (715)839-7788. Jersey sizes will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in 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 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). 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.