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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Lucas Luedtke had quite the day last Wednesday, July 26. After going 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored in the American Legion Post 121 team's 4-3 victory over Beaver Dam in the opening round of the Legion Class AA State Baseball Tournament in Merrill that afternoon, Luedtke arrived at First National Bank of River Falls Field three hours later just in time to go 3-for-5, with a stand-up, infield triple, one RBI and three runs scored in the Fighting Fish's playoff-clinching 6-5 win over the Osceola Braves.
Nick Speckman's walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the River Falls Post 121 baseball team to a 4-3 victory over Beaver Dam Post 146 in the first round of the 2017 American Legion Class AA State Tournament in Merrill Wednesday, July 26. River Falls scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score and set up Speckman's game-winning bomb.
After earning midseason all-star honors for the third time in four minor league seasons, and winning the California League All-Star Home Run Derby last month, former Wildcat Marty Herum was promoted to the Arizona Diamondbacks Class AA affiliate in Jackson, Tenn., July 18. Herum, a corner infielder, was leading the California League in doubles with 27 while hitting .311 with five home runs, three triples and 49 RBI in 87 games with the Class A Advanced Visalia (Calif.) Rawhide at the time of his call up.
For the first time since their inaugural season of 2008, the River Falls Fighting Fish enter the final week of the regular season without a guaranteed playoff spot. The Fish, 8-5 in St. Croix Valley Baseball League play, need to win one of their final three league games to earn a spot in the postseason. It won't be easy as they face league leader Prescott (12-2) and two other teams fighting for playoff spots — Osceola (8-5) and Elmwood (7-8). SCVBL teams need to win at least nine games to make the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs.
River Falls swimmer Sydney Fleming qualified for the Minnesota Long Course State Championships in three individual events in the Long Course Regional Championships in Winona last weekend, July 21-23, and will swim in a total of eight events at the state meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center July 26-30.
Two-hundred and twenty-nine competitors took part in this year's River Falls Days 10k and 2-Mile races Saturday, July 15, along a new route featuring the start and finish lines on Maple Street next to city hall.
The River Falls Post 121 baseball team hopes its success at the Superior American Legion Tournament over the weekend of July 8-9 is a precursor to the upcoming postseason. After coming out on the short end of an 11-10, 10-inning affair in its first game in a week at New Richmond on July 6, River Falls went 4-0 over the weekend to capture the Superior tournament title and improve to 13-5 on the season.
Unless things go completely awry, the River Falls Fighting Fish are a lock to make the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs for the 10th straight season, but the race for the St. Croix Valley Baseball League North Division title is still up for grabs.
The River Falls American Legion baseball team stood tall against some top quality competition in a game played at Mankato over the weekend. River Falls went 2-1 in the tournament, with its only loss coming against a highly-ranked Mankato team. That game was the first of the weekend for River Falls. River Falls lost to the host Mankato team 7-3 in 10 innings. River Falls got excellent pitching, with just two of Mankato's runs being earned.
Three members of the Wildcat boys golf team have earned individual academic all-state honors and the Cats have been recognized with honorable mention Team Academic All-State honors by the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin (GCAW) for the 2017 season.