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Published On: January 16th, 2020

For this week’s Express Alumni Update presented by Lakeland University, we got together with Chippewa Falls native Zach Gilles to discuss his experiences in the Northwoods League and about his collegiate career at CMU.

Gilles, a three-year player with the Express, was everything you’d expect from a local player at Carson Park.  The speedy outfielder was a 2017 Northwoods League All-Star and helped the 2019 Express team to a Great Plains Championship and an appearance in the Northwoods League Championship title game. In 2019 Gilles hit for a .355 average with 20 RBIs, nine extra-base knocks, and nabbed 15 stolen bases.

With the Chippewa’s at CMU in 2019 Gilles won a MAC regular-season championship, a MAC tournament championship, and played in an NCAA Regional, all while leading the team with 20 stolen bases and ranking second in batting average (.351), hits (85) and triples (6). Gilles and the rest of the CMU team will get their season underway in a few short weeks, when they travel to Las Vegas, February 14th, to face UNLV.

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 Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods 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 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit 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.