Jack Brown

Eau Claire Express pitcher Jack Brown throws home against the Waterloo Bucks on July 25, 2019 at Carson Park.

As usual, the Eau Claire Express will have a bit of a hometown feel this summer.

The Northwoods League club announced Thursday that Eau Claire native Jack Brown will be returning to the team this season. Brown, a sophomore pitcher at Minnesota State, was a key reliever for the Express in 2019.

The Eau Claire Memorial graduate went 5-2 with a 2.68 ERA in 47 innings with the Express two years ago. Of his 15 appearances, 14 came out of the bullpen.

“I’m excited to put on the Express jersey once again this summer at Carson Park and play in front of the hometown crowd under the lights,” Brown said in a statement on the Express’ social media. “I can’t wait for the new experiences and memories this season has to offer!”

Brown was a standout during his days as an Old Abe. As a senior at Memorial, Brown posted a 4-1 record with a 0.97 ERA. He was the Leader-Telegram’s All-Area player of the year and a third team all-state honoree from the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association.

In his last outing with the Express, Brown helped the team shut out Willmar 2-0 in the Great Plains Division championship game. He pitched four innings and allowed just a single hit to help carry Eau Claire into the Summer Collegiate World Series.

“There’s nothing better than playing at Carson Park under the lights,” Brown said in 2019. “Growing up here in Eau Claire, playing at Memorial, and then (manager Dale) Varsho giving me the opportunity to play here in the summertime with the hometown crowd on your side, there’s nothing better.”

The right-hander is the second pitcher announced on the Express roster, after Dallas Baptist righty Alec Baker. Eau Claire is scheduled to open the season at home on May 31 against Rochester.