(Eau Claire, WI) Eau Claire Express field manager Dale Varsho announced one returning player and four new additions to his 2010 roster today. Returning from late in the 2009 season is Eau Claire native and South Mountain Community College freshman Will Fadness. He will be joined by pitchers Steven Florez, Austin House and Bobby Mares of New Mexico and Pulama Silva of Yavapai. The Express roster now stands at 15.
Fadness is a graduate of Eau Claire Memorial High School and is the starting catcher at South Mountain. In 18 games this spring, he ranks second on the team with a .356 batting average, is tied for the team lead with six doubles and leads the Cougars with ten runs batted in. Will last year became the fourth Fadness to play for the Express, joining brothers Ty (2005), Mickey (2007) and Nolan (2008-2009).
Florez is a 6-foot-1-inch, 185-pound freshman for the Lobos. The right-hander had an outstanding career at Las Cruces High School, ranking fourth in New Mexico state baseball history with 175 strikeouts. He was named to the All-State and All-District teams from 2008-2009. Florez has not yet pitched this spring for New Mexico and is likely to be red-shirted this season.
House, a 6-foot-4-inch pitcher, has been used mainly out of the bullpen this spring for New Mexico. In seven appearances, the freshman is 1-0 with one save and a 4.03 earned run average. House was drafted in the 25th round by the Boston Red Sox out of High School, but chose instead to attend college.
Mares, a 6-foot right-hander, has begun his freshman season mainly as a starting pitcher. In three appearances, including two starts, he is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA. As a high school senior, Mares was the All-City and All-District Most Valuable Player and was the winning pitcher in the Texas State Championship game.
Silva is a 5-foot-10-inch, 175-pound sophomore. The right-hander is Yavapai’s closer, with 12 saves in 20 appearances thus far. His performance has been nothing short of dominant, as he has 48 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched to go along with a 0.93 ERA. Silva was equally impressive as a freshman, finishing with a 0.84 ERA, 17 saves and 41 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched.
The Express will open their 2010 season in La Crosse on June 2. June 3 will mark the Express home opener, as the Loggers travel to Carson Park. Game time is 6:35 and the first 500 fans in attendance will receive a 2010 magnetic schedule, compliments of Maverick Media. Single-game tickets for all Express home games, including the NWL All-Star Game, are now available at the Express office and online at www.eauclaireexpress.com.