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Express Alumni Update: Cal Poly

College baseball is here and we are having a great time watching all of the Express alumni in action all across the country. In today’s alumni update, presented by Lakeland University, we will take a look at all of our alums playing ball this season at Cal Poly. The Mustangs have some notable wins so far this season, knocking off no. 1 Vanderbilt in the MLB4 Tournament and no. 5 Michigan in February. Cal Poly will host Baylor in a three-game set over the weekend, starting with a game this evening.

Cole Cabrera made his mark on the Express with a record-setting 2019 season in Eau Claire. One of the team’s fan favorites during the Express’s Great Plains Championship campaign, Cabrera earned his place on both Eau Claire’s single-season and single-game record books. Cabrera is among the top-ten single-season leaders in slugging percentage (.463), second in stolen bases (31) and on-base percentage (.514), and leads the team in single-season walks (61) as well as walks in a game (5).

So far this spring, Cabrera has started all 13 games that he has appeared in, is batting .264, is second on the team in hits (14) and slugging % (.415), and you guessed it, leads the ball club with 8 walks.

Other 2019 Express alumni playing for the Mustangs include pitchers Craig Colen, and Dylan Villalobos, and a recognizable name to Eau Claire baseball, Nick Marinconz.

Colen had a great 2019 season on the bump for the Express. The right-hander appeared in seven games and started eight for Eau Claire, posting a 4.82 season era and a 3-3 record while striking out 43 batters in 46.2 innings. Colen’s last win came against the Waterloo Bucks in the Great Plains East Subdivision Championship game where he threw six scoreless innings, allowing only two hits in Eau Claire’s 7-0 victory.

Villalobos provided some much-needed support for the Express pitching corps at the end of the season. Pitching as a reliever for Eau Claire, Villalobos stuck out 10 batters in six innings pitched, with limited games.

For the Mustangs in 2020, Colen has made five relief appearances and holds a 4.15 era in 8.2 innings. Villalobos has made seven appearances for Cal Poly this season, including two starts, has recorded one save, and has struck out 10 in 10.1 innings of work.

Nick Marinconz, the brother of Kyle Marinconz who played for the Express between 2015 and 2017, was a staple in the Express lineup in the second half of the season in 2019. The current Cal Poly freshman appeared in 23 contests and was among the Express leaders with a .319 batting average while contributing 11 RBIs. This season in San Luis Obispo, Marinconz has started every game for the Mustangs and holds a .208 batting average with 5 RBIs, two doubles, and one home run.

Scott Ogrin played for the Express in 2018, starting the season on a tear and earning a 2018 Northwoods League All-Star nod. The infielder from Valencia, California played in 36 games to start the NWL season and gained 19 extra-base knocks including 11 doubles, one triple, and seven home runs. Ogrin is splitting time this season in the Mustang outfield, but nonetheless has made nine appearances and five starts for Cal Poly, contributing 3 RBIs and one long ball.

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.

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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 All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, 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-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). 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.