Next up on our Express Alumni Update presented by Lakeland University is another Eau Claire native and the University of Minnesota – Duluth pitcher Paul Petit. Although Petit’s time with the Express was brief, the right-handed hurler had a great effect on the team, as he has on every team that he has been a part of here in Eau Claire.
Playing collegiately for the Bulldogs, Petit led the team in relief appearances and total appearances on the mound with 14 during the 2019 season. Petit held a 3.79 ERA and held opposing batters to a .257 batting average, both stats good for fifth on Duluth’s roster. Prior to joining the Express in late July, Petit won nine games with the Eau Claire Cavaliers and was named the CRBL All-Star Game MVP.
With the Express, Petit made four total appearances to cap Eau Claire’s NWL season, earning a win against Willmar on August 3rd. Petit gained an impressive 1.72 ERA and racked up 13 strikeouts in 15.2 innings pitched.
Below are excerpts of his interview with the Express this past December.
On his experience with the Express:
“Coming in late July and into August and for the playoffs was a lot of fun. I had a great first half of the summer but, man, was it fun to get with the Express for the last third of the year. I was able to get quite a few innings in and get to know all of the guys and play some pretty good baseball.”
On his preparation this Fall:
“I was a two-way player, playing middle infielder and pitching. Watching my performance last year on the mound and into the spring, and transitioning into the summer, we made the decision to go with pitching only. Going into this fall it was the first time that I had done that going in as a pitcher only at school, so it was a bit of a transition, practice is a little bit different, you approach the day a little different. I have grown to like it a lot and I am looking forward to this spring.”
On playing in the NSIC:
“You’ve got guys like Augustana, St. Cloud, and Minot, there are a lot of good teams in the NSIC at the Division II level. We are looking to be competitive this season. We have a lot of guys in my class that were playing as freshman and sophomores and are now looking forward to the opportunity to be playing as upperclassman. Everyday guys and starting rotation guys, we are looking forward to getting after it and seeing what we can do.”
On his career:
“I want to be a competitive player. Being able to go deep into the playoffs and win big games. Conference tournament games and playing baseball at the highest level is always the goals. I am trying to make good connections along the way, enjoy it, and get the experience of playing college baseball.”
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 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.