Eau Claire Express
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|Eau Claire Express|
|League||Northwoods League (South Division (2005–2013)
North Division (2014–present))
|Location||Eau Claire, Wisconsin|
|League championships||1 – 2010
Pennants: 3 – 2007, 2010, 2016
First Half: 2016
First Half: 2010
Second Half: 2010
First Half: 2009
Second Half: 2007
|Former name(s)||Eau Claire Express (2005–present)|
|Ownership||Bill Rowlett, Andy Neborak, Dale Varsho|
|Management||Spencer Larson (GM)|
|Media||Eau 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 2016 season saw the Express return to the Northwoods League postseason after winning he season'a 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:
|Trent Blank||RHP||Baylor||30||Col NL||Asheville||Sally|
|Tyler Bremer||RHP||Baylor||27||Chi NL||Boise||Northwest|
|Logan Ehlers||LHP||Howard College||20||Det AL||Connecticut||NY–Penn|
|Dietrich Enns||LHP||Central Michigan||19||NY AL||Tampa||FSL|
|Zac Fisher||C||New Mexico State||27||Chi AL||Great Falls||Pioneer|
|Louis Head||RHP||Texas State||18||Cle AL||Carolina||Carolina|
|Lucas Herbst||1B-OF||Santa Clara||26||Balt AL||Delmarva||Carolina|
|Jordan Kipper||RHP||Central Arizona||30||Phi NL||TCU||Big 12|
|Ryan Longstreth||RHP||Central Michigan||40||Det AL||Connecticut||NY–Penn|
|Jacob Morris||OF||Arkansas||37||Cle AL||Great Falls||Pioneer|
|Logan Vick||2B||Baylor||11||Cle AL||Carolina||Carolina|
Express players drafted in the 2013 MLB Draft:
|Alex Allbritton||3B||New Mexico||21||LA AL||Orem||Pioneer|
|Jimmy Allen||3B-OF||Cal Poly||23||Bos AL||Cal Poly||Big West|
|Trevor Bayless||LHP||San Diego||22||Oak AL||Beloit||Midwest|
|Garrett Custons||C||Air Force||10||Tor AL||Bluefield||Appalachian|
|Jared Dettman||LHP||Century CC (MN)||17||Atl NL||Danville||Appalachian|
|Drew Ghelfi||RHP||Minnesota||25||Mil NL||AZL Brewers||Arizona|
|Brad Goldberg||RHP||Ohio State||10||Chi AL||Winston-Salem||Carolina|
|Michael Holback||RHP||Cal Poly||25||SL NL||Johnson City||Appalachian|
|Devin Moore||RHP||Indiana State||27||Chi AL||Bristol||Appalachian|
|Jacob Morris||OF||Arkansas||37||Cle AL||Great Falls||Pioneer|
|Brandon Peterson||RHP||Wichita State||13||Min AL||Elizabethton||Appalachian|
|Matt Southard||RHP||Yavapai College||28||Phi NL||GCL Phillies||Gulf Coast|
|Cal Towey||3B||Baylor||17||LA AL||Orem||Pioneer|
|Justin Viele||2B||Santa Clara||37||Balt AL||Aberdeen||NY–Penn|
|Philip Walby||RHP||San Diego State||12||NY AL||Staten Island||NY–Penn|
|Charlie White||OF||Maryland||29||NY AL||Maryland||ACC|
- 2013-09-30 Express to move to North Division in 2014, Eau Claire Express website.
- 2012-06-07 Eleven current and former Express players selected in draft, Eau Claire Express website.
- 2013-06-09 – Express well represented in MLB draft, Eau Claire Express website.