The Eau Claire Express are Second-Half Champs and Playoff Bound!
Waterloo, IA – The Eau Claire Express are Great Plains East Second Half Champions and have secured their spot in the 2019 Northwoods League postseason.
Thanks to their 11-6 win over the Waterloo Bucks, the Express will play the first half champion Bucks in a best-of-3 series beginning with game 1 at Riverfront Stadium in Waterloo, IA on Monday, August 12th. Postseason baseball will return to Carson Park on Tuesday, August 13th for Game 2 with a 6:35 pm first pitch featuring a rally towel giveaway and post-game fireworks! If needed, Game 3 will be played in Eau Claire on Wednesday, August 14th. For more information on the Northwoods League Playoff Format, click HERE. To purchase your playoff tickets tonight, click HERE.
Lakeland University Postgame Recap: The Express left it late in Waterloo, trailing the entire game until the bats got hot in the eighth. Trailing 5-6, David LaManna (Notre Dame) provided the spark the Express had been looking for all evening. LaManna’s three-run RBI double scored Cole Cabrera (Cal Poly), Brock Burton (Grand Canyon) and Brandon Dieter, to give the Express an 8-6 lead. The scoring would not stop there however, Zach Gilles (Central Michigan) tripled for the second time in the game to drive in Eau Claire’s fourth run of the inning while a Nick Marinconz (Cal Poly) RBI double scored Gilles and gave the Express a 10-6 lead.
With all of the momentum in Eau Claire’s favor Kuster Kinlecheenie (Montevallo) entered in the bottom half of the inning to hurl for the Express. Eau Claire would score a final insurance run in the ninth due to some heads up base running by Dieter, scoring on a wild pitch. Kinlecheenie finished the game tossing two complete innings to lock up the game for the Express, facing eight batters and striking out four, to advance Eau Claire to the 2019 Playoffs.
LaManna and Gilles each drove in three runs in the game for the Express. 2019 Postseason All-Star Matt Bottcher (Illinois-Chicago) went 3-for-4 at the plate with Eau Claire out hitting the Bucks 14 to 13. Four players notched multi-hit games for the Express in Waterloo while the team gained six extra-base knocks in the win.
Peyton Sherlin (Dallas Baptist) picked up the win for Eau Claire tossing two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh, striking out three batters along the way. Express starter Tim Ewald (Dallas Baptist) went 3.1 innings before making way for Paul Petit (Minnesota State) who paved the way for Sherlin.
Tickets to Tuesday’s playoff game are available online HERE, or by calling the Eau Claire Express office Monday morning at 9 am. Tickets will also be available the day of the game at the Carson Park box office one hour prior to first pitch. Host family and season ticket holders have the ability to retain their current seats and will be contacted via email.
The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 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 (MIA). 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.