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Fighting Fish roll into state finals

River Falls’ Colin Pechacek is greeted at home plate by teammates Nathan Brom (5) and Clint Kempf (8) after hitting a three-run home run in the first inning of the Fighting Fish’s Wisconsin Baseball Association playoff game against the Eau Claire Bears Saturday at First National Bank of River Falls Field. (River Falls Journal photo by Bob Burrows)

The 8-team field is set for the Wisconsin Baseball Association State Finals, and the River Falls Fighting Fish claimed their spot in emphatic style over the weekend.

The Fish needed just 12 innings of offense to post a total of 33 runs in a pair of mercy-rule wins over the Hallie Eagles and the Eau Claire Bears at First National Bank of River Falls Field.

River Falls crushed Hallie, 21-3, in Friday night’s playoff opener before shutting out Eau Claire, 12-0, Sunday. They will take on St. Croix Valley Baseball League rival Prescott in a WBA State quarterfinal game this Friday night, Aug. 15, at 7:30 p.m. at First National Bank of River Falls Field.

The Ellsworth Hubbers of the SCVBL will face the Chaseburg-Coon Valley Blues of the Mississippi Valley League in another quarterfinal game Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Ellsworth.

The rest of the games will all be played at First National Bank of River Falls Field starting with a quarterfinal game between the Whittlesey Reds of the Dairyland League and the defending state champion Brill Millers of the Independent League Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by the Haugen Knights of the Independent League against the La Crescent Cardinals of the MVL at 1 p.m.

Action continues with semifinal games Saturday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the state championship game scheduled for Sunday at noon at First National Bank of River Falls Field.

See the Aug. 14 print edition of the River Falls Journal for more on last weekend’s two Fighting Fish victories and this weekend’s state finals.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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