Eau Claire, WI – The Eau Claire Express (9-12) made the journey to Bismarck, North Dakota on Saturday to take on the Bismarck Larks (7-14). In game one of the two game set, the Express took an early lead but could not hold on, falling by a final score of 8-6.
Cody Milligan (Oklahoma State) got things started right away for the Express. The freshman showed power, crushing a leadoff home run over the right field ivy. Alec Trela (Memphis) was later hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a single Andrew Pratt (Lubbock Christian) laced to left field. Troy Beilsmith (Evansville) picked up an RBI, driving Trela in with a single to second base. Ryan Bishop (Dallas Baptist) hit an RBI double to score Pratt.
Alec Trela slashed a double to left field to kick off the Express half of the 5th inning. Andrew Pratt hit his second single of the day to again move Trela to third. Ryan Bishop collected his second RBI, a single to center that plated Trela. Pratt advanced to third base on a single hit by Phillip Sikes (New Mexico) and scored on a Drew Hmielewski (Minnesota) sac fly to center field. The 7th inning saw the last Eau Claire run of the game. Troy Beilsmith doubled and was brought in after Hmielewski singled to left.
Andrew Dean (Illinois-Springfield) was back on the mound for the Express. In his first start since July 9th, Dean went 4 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and three walks. Isaiah Davis (Fresno State) entered in the 5th inning. He would surrender three runs over three innings and receive the loss. Manny Castellano (Cumberlands) pitched a scoreless 8th.
Eau Claire finishes the two-game set with the Larks on Sunday at 1:05. They return home on Monday, July 30th for Changing Diabetes Night presented by Novo Nordisk. Fans will also be able to receive a complimentary chair massage from Paradise Massage while taking in an Express game!
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.