Eau Claire WI – The Express once again battled Minnesota Saturday night, and once again took a commanding victory over the Mud Puppies, with a final score of 13-4.
The night began smoothly for Eau Claire, as their starter, Isaac Lyon (Grand Canyon University) cruised through 5 innings, giving up just 1 run on 4 hits, all while dealing an astounding 9 strikeouts. His pitch command featured a slew of sliders, and a couple of curves, as he struck out the side in two separate innings.
Once again the Express feasted at the plate, where they had 13 runs on 10 hits. Many of their early runs came off of errors in the field by the Mud Puppies, as Minnesota struggled defensively. Two of the power bats in the Eau Claire lineup were Ryan Nagelbach (UIC) and Dylan O’Connell (St. Thomas). Each had a homer in the game, with Nagelbach’s coming in the 4th, while O’Connell’s shot was in the 6th.
Nagelbach’s 2 for 5, 4 RBI night was enough to earn him tonight’s Player of the Game honors, as his homer and late-game double put the nail in the coffin of a Minnesota Miracle comeback.
Minnesota never gave up hope though, as the top of the 9th featured a 15-pitch walk for Mud Puppy Isaac Nett, who sent 11 balls foul, which only served to delay the inevitable.
The main story of the night though was the celebration of Manager Dale Varsho’s 600th Career Win. He is already by far the winningest Manager in the Northwoods league, having begun his coaching career, along with pitching coach Vic Cable back in 2005. Now, he and Cable own the distinction of being the first coaches to ever reach 600 wins in the league. The pair have led the Express ever since, and have been a mainstay in the first base dugout at Carson Park.
The Express will stay in Carson Park tomorrow for an afternoon game against the visiting Waterloo Bucks, with a start time of 2:05 p.m. CST. This matinee game will also be “Taste of the Fair Day” presented by Northern Wisconsin State Fair. Be sure to swing by the park for a fun-filled afternoon of baseball!
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. Now in its’ 29th 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, 300 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 (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. 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.