Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Tuesday afternoon's heavy rain postpones the Eau Claire Express opener at Carson Park vs. the Lakeshore Chinooks.
It's a case of hurry up and wait for the new players on the Express roster, who'll need game experience to fully adjust to the Northwoods League.
Monday night was the very first time the group got together for a practice. Express manager Dale Varsho spent part of that workout talking to the guys about what they can expect, because for most of these players, the Northwoods League will be a lot different from what they experienced in college baseball.
"Most of them don't have a clue about what the Northwoods League is about," says Varsho, "games in-between innings and everything else. But we'll try to educate them before the first pitch and just try to educate them on what happens, how you do things, what are the rules and regulations and everyone should be aware of what's going on."
Express fans will get a chance to see a good contingent of local talent on this year's roster. Eau Claire Memorial grad Brady Burzynski and River Falls native Alex Call both have guaranteed contracts for this summer. Eau Claire North product Tyler Hermann is back for a third season with the Express and will start out on a temporary contract, as will McDonell Central grad Andy Davis, along with Chi-Hi alum Justin Jaquish.
"I haven't played in front of 2,000 fans in what seems like forever," Jaquish says, "so it will be really fun, a little crowd excitement, a lot of energy, it'll be fun."
"The Northwoods gives a good feel of what it's like to play pro ball," says Burzyinski, "and obviously that's the goal for everyone here. Everything I've been doing is trying to work towards this season and hopefully it works out well."
"We have good baseball players here in Eau Claire that are definitely good enough to play," says Varsho, "and when you bring in Brady and Ty(ler Hermann) and the two pitchers from Chippewa, Andy (Davis) and Justin, I think they're deserving of showcasing what they can do here in the Northwoods League."
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