Eau Claire, WI – The Express ended their regular season with a loss to the visiting Willmar Stingers. The final score for the game read 2-4 in favor of the Stingers.
It was another successful first inning for the visiting team, as Willmar hit their second consecutive first-inning homer in the ballgame when Kevin Fitzer went yard.
The Express were quick to put runs on the board tonight though, as they tacked on 2 in the bottom of the third as Reed Latimer (UAB) and Marcus Cline (Tulane) each got an RBI.
Eau Claire made sure to work through their bullpen on the eve of playoffs. Tyler Schmitt (UW-La Crosse) led the charge, starting on the mound and going for two innings. After Schmitt came Ray Cantelo (Lewis) who pitched two innings of his own, before Tayler Montiel (Tulane) came in to get his two and two-thirds.
Derek Lilledahl (MSU Mankato) took the mound in the top of the seventh, marking his first outing since rejoining the Express. Lilledahl, who previously spent time with the Trains in the first half, looked to regain his footing and did just that through one and two-thirds innings.
Hits were few and far between for the Express, with only 2 base knocks totaled through nine innings.
It seemed that the only highlights for the Express came on the defensive side of the ball, with several good catches and plays, including one diving grab from Kaden Galason in the eighth inning.
With the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth, the Eau Claire Express could not get the job done, as they struck out on the final pitch of the ballgame.
With the regular season officially in the books, the Express will begin their playoff run with a game at Carson Park tomorrow evening. First pitch for round one of the playoffs will come at 6:35 pm CT, and Eau Claire will take on the visiting La Crosse Loggers. Be sure to come out to see the Men in Orange in action, and get rowdy for your home team in this pivotal game!
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’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 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 325 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.