By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — A number of local high school graduates are making their marks on different levels of the baseball ladder this summer.
The following is an update on how they are doing heading into the middle portion of the season.
Varsho pounding Northwoods pitching
Daulton Varsho, a 2014 Marshfield High School graduate and a junior-to-be at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is tearing up the Northwoods League this season for the Eau Claire Express.
Through Tuesday, Varsho was batting .289 (39-for-135), led the Northwoods League with nine home runs, and had 34 RBIs. He tops the Express with 30 runs scored, eight doubles, and two triples, and he also has 13 stolen bases and has walked 19 times.
The Express entered play Wednesday with a 25-11 record and one-half game lead over St. Cloud in the North Division standings.
Varsho, who turned 20 years old on July 2, is the team’s main catcher and is in his second season playing for Eau Claire, which is coached by his uncle Dale Varsho. In 2015 he led the Express in runs scored (37), doubles (11), triples (seven), RBIs (32), and stolen bases (21) and was a Northwoods League all-star.
Varsho was the Horizon League Player of the Year this past season for UW-Milwaukee.
The Northwoods League is a wood-bat summer league for college players.
Ashbeck promoted, injured in first start
Elliot Ashbeck was off to a great start in his first full season in the San Diego Padres’ minor league system, but his year has been derailed by an injury.
A 2012 Marshfield High School grad, Ashbeck was promoted from Class A Fort Wayne (Indiana) to advanced Class A Lake Elsinore (California) and pitched in one game before he was injured.
Ashbeck pitched in six games, including one start, for Fort Wayne in the Midwest League, going 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA and 15 strikeouts and only two walks in 21 innings.
He was promoted to Lake Elsinore in early May and made his debut on May 7. Getting the start, he allowed one unearned run in 3 1/3 innings before leaving the game with an injury.
He was placed on the team’s disabled list on May 10 and has not pitched since. Information on the injury was undisclosed.
Ashbeck, who played three years at Bradley University, was a 16th-round choice by the Padres in the 2015 draft.
Zimmermann lands on DL
Jordan Zimmermann, a 2004 graduate of Auburndale High School and alumnus of the Marshfield American Legion and Marshfield Chaparrals programs, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday by the Detroit Tigers with a neck strain.
Zimmermann is 9-4 in his first season with the Tigers after pitching the previous seven with the Washington Nationals. He has started 15 games and has a 3.95 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 95 2/3 innings.
Zimmermann started the season 5-0, giving up just two earned runs in five starts in April. Since then he is 4-4 and has given up 40 earned runs in 62 2/3 innings.