Eau Claire Express

The Eau Claire Express is a collegiate summer baseball team playing in the Northwoods League. Their home games are played at Carson Park, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Eau Claire Express
LeagueNorthwoods League (Great Plains East 2019-pres)
(North Division 2014-2018)
(South Division 2005-2013)
LocationEau Claire, Wisconsin
BallparkCarson Park
Year founded2005
League championships1 (2010)
Division championships4 (2007, 2010, 2016, 2019)
ColorsBlack, Orange
OwnershipBill Rowlett, Andy Neborak, Dale Varsho
ManagementJacob Servais (GM)
ManagerDale Varsho
MediaEau Claire Leader Telegram

After two straight losing seasons in 2005 and 2006, the Eau Claire Express achieved many firsts during the 2007 season. The team won nine of its final ten regular season games to finish 42-26 overall and claim the 2007 2nd Half South Division title, their first regular season division title in franchise history and qualified for the Northwoods League playoffs, another franchise first.

In the 2007 South Division Championship Series, they faced the 1st Half South Division Champion Green Bay Bullfrogs. They won the series 2-1, claiming the 2007 South Division Pennant, another first in franchise history. In the 2007 Northwoods League Championship Series, they faced the North Division Champion St. Cloud River Bats and were swept 2-0 by the eventual Northwoods League Champions.

The 2008 season ended with the Express missing the Northwoods League playoffs by 1.5 games. The Express finished the season one game below .500.

The Express had one of their best seasons in 2009. They had a great first half, winning the NWL South Division to qualify for the playoffs. However, injuries and summer school depleted the squad in the second half. Eau Claire was eliminated in two games by the La Crosse Loggers in the Northwoods League Divisional round.

In 2010, the Express won the first half of the season again with a 22-12 record. Via www.perfectgame.org, the Express have been ranked as high as #3 in the nation for summer collegiate baseball. The team closed out the 2010 season winning both halves. They followed this up by winning the NWL Championship and www.perfectgame.org ranked the Eau Claire Express the #1 summer collegiate team in the nation.

The Express moved to the North Division for 2014, to accommodate the new NWL teams in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Kalamazoo, Michigan. [1]

The 2016 season saw the Express return to the Northwoods League postseason after winning the season's first half title. This was the first time the team had qualified for the playoffs since the 2010 season.

Eau Claire opened the playoffs hosting the Mankato MoonDogs in the first round of the Divisional Playoffs at Carson Park. Despite having only a 1-7 record vs. Mankato in the regular season, Eau Claire was able to defeat the MoonDogs to advance.

The next night the team traveled to St. Cloud, Minn. to face the second half champion Rox for a chance to play for the NWL Championship. After blowing a late lead, the Express were able to defeat the Rox in extra innings to win the North Division title.

Awaiting the Express in the NWL Championship Series was the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, the owners of the league's best regular season record. Eau Claire led game one by a run with two outs in the ninth inning at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. before giving up a walk-off, two-run home run to lose. The Express would go on to lose game two the following night at Carson Park to end a successful season and concede the Northwoods League title to the Rafters. The title was the first in franchise history for Wisconsin Rapids, in their first trip to the postseason in seven seasons of play.

Express players drafted in the 2007 MLB Draft:

  • Jordan Zimmermann- RHP Washington Nationals
  • Thomas Eager- RHP St. Louis Cardinals
  • Evan Frey- OF Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Ryan Tatusko- RHP Texas Rangers
  • Kraig Binick- OF Baltimore Orioles
  • Mark Hallberg- SS Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Russ Dixon- OF Houston Astros

Express players drafted in the 2008 MLB Draft:

  • Shane Dyer- RHP Tampa Bay Rays
  • Jake Jefferies- C Tampa Bay Rays
  • Tim Huber- LHP Kansas City Royals
  • Bryan Frew- OF Philadelphia Phillies
  • David Cales- RHP Chicago Cubs
  • Chris Odegaard- RHP Minnesota Twins
  • Ryan O'Sullivan- SS/RHP San Francisco Giants
  • Eddie Gamboa- RHP Baltimore Orioles

Express players drafted in the 2010 MLB Draft:

  • Kole Calhoun – OF/LA Angels
  • Devin Lohman – SS/Cincinnati Reds
  • Rafael Neda – C/Milwaukee Brewers
  • Cole Nelson – LHP/Detroit Tigers
  • Brooks Pinckard – RHP/OF/Chicago Cubs
  • Pete Gehle – LHP/Chicago White Sox
  • DeMarcus Tidwell – OF/Cleveland Indians
  • Tyler Bremer – RHP/Chicago Cubs
  • Ryan Kiel – LHP/Seattle Mariners
  • George Jensen – RHP/Tampa Bay Rays

Express players drafted in the 2012 MLB Draft:[2]

NamePosCollegeRoundTeam2013 TeamLeague
Trent BlankRHPBaylor30Col NLAshevilleSally
Tyler BremerRHPBaylor27Chi NLBoiseNorthwest
Logan EhlersLHPHoward College20Det ALConnecticutNY–Penn
Dietrich EnnsLHPCentral Michigan19NY ALTampaFSL
Zac FisherCNew Mexico State27Chi ALGreat FallsPioneer
Louis HeadRHPTexas State18Cle ALCarolinaCarolina
Lucas Herbst1B-OFSanta Clara26Balt ALDelmarvaCarolina
Jordan KipperRHPCentral Arizona30Phi NLTCUBig 12
Ryan LongstrethRHPCentral Michigan40Det ALConnecticutNY–Penn
Jacob MorrisOFArkansas37Cle ALGreat FallsPioneer
Logan Vick2BBaylor11Cle ALCarolinaCarolina

Express players drafted in the 2013 MLB Draft:[3]

NamePosCollegeRoundTeam2013 TeamLeague
Alex Allbritton3BNew Mexico21LA ALOremPioneer
Jimmy Allen3B-OFCal Poly23Bos ALCal PolyBig West
Trevor BaylessLHPSan Diego22Oak ALBeloitMidwest
Garrett CustonsCAir Force10Tor ALBluefieldAppalachian
Jared DettmanLHPCentury CC (MN)17Atl NLDanvilleAppalachian
Drew GhelfiRHPMinnesota25Mil NLAZL BrewersArizona
Brad GoldbergRHPOhio State10Chi ALWinston-SalemCarolina
Michael HolbackRHPCal Poly25SL NLJohnson CityAppalachian
Devin MooreRHPIndiana State27Chi ALBristolAppalachian
Jacob MorrisOFArkansas37Cle ALGreat FallsPioneer
Brandon PetersonRHPWichita State13Min ALElizabethtonAppalachian
Matt SouthardRHPYavapai College28Phi NLGCL PhilliesGulf Coast
Cal Towey3BBaylor17LA ALOremPioneer
Justin Viele2BSanta Clara37Balt ALAberdeenNY–Penn
Philip WalbyRHPSan Diego State12NY ALStaten IslandNY–Penn
Charlie WhiteOFMaryland29NY ALMarylandACC


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