Can you name an Eau Claire native that tossed for Memorial, was on the Express’s roster for four seasons and was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals? If you can, you probably know who Dalton Roach is. Roach is the subject of our Express Alumni Update presented by Lakeland University.
If you are a fan of prep baseball in Eau Claire than you probably are familiar with Roach. The right-handed pitcher earned nine varsity letters with the Old Abes, was a Conference player of the year and two-time All-Conference award winner, Leader-Telegram Player of the Year, and was honorable mention all-state and first-team all-district as a senior.
Roach’s accomplishments didn’t stop there. While with the Mavericks at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Roach finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in wins with 30 and strikeouts with 371. His career record was 30-7 and his career ERA was 2.49. Roach also received the 2017 Tomko Award, the award presented to the best pitcher in NCAA Division II, after completing his junior season with a 10-1 record, a 1.56 ERA and 128 k’s.
Roach pitched sparingly for the Express across four seasons at Carson Park. Roach had his most intensive season with the Orange and Black in 2015 where he made 13 appearances, 6 starts, and striking out 55 batters over 39.2 innings.
In 2016, Roach had an outing for the record books. On opening night Roach struck out the first 12 batters he faced and finished with 18 strikeouts to set a new Express record, breaking the previous record set in 2005, and earning the win and Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night.
After his collegiate career ended, Roach again impressed, this time with River City in the Independent Professional League. Through five starts, Roach earned a 4-0 record, a 1.13 ERA, and struck out 37 through 32 innings. Roach was later signed by the St. Louis Cardinals.
In 2019, Roach made appearances for the Johnson City Cardinals, the State College Spikes, and finished the season with the Peoria Chiefs. Over that time he gained a 3-1 record, with 71 strikeouts over 67.1 innings, and established a 4.14 ERA.
Keep a lookout all off-season for more alumni updates presented by Lakeland University. At Lakeland University you’ll find unique 14-week BlendEd courses that allow you to complete coursework either online or in class from week to week depending on your location, schedule, and other life commitments allowing you to choose the format that works best for you.
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.