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Fighting Fish fall in state quarterfinals

Fighting Fish players Rick Wells, left, Adam Brathol and Nathan Brom shake hands with members of the La Crescent Cardinals after the Cardinals defeated the Fish, 9-4, in a WBA state quarterfinal game Friday night in Haugen. (River Falls Journal photo by Bob Burrows)

The River Falls Fighting Fish took an early 1-0 lead against the La Crescent Cardinals but the Cardinals scored five runs in the third inning on their way to defeating the Fish, 9-4, in a Wisconsin Baseball Association State Tournament quarterfinal game late Friday night in Haugen.

The 9 p.m. start was pushed back to nearly 10 p.m. by the first quarterfinal game of the night between the Chaseburg-Coon Valley Blues and Eau Claire Cavaliers, a game that saw the Cavaliers rally for six runs in the bottom of the ninth only to fall short, 8-7.

River Falls took a 1-0 lead in bottom of the second inning when Sam Barr doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Josh Halling, and scored on a bloop single by Adam Stuessel.

The Cardinals chased Fish starter James Georgakas with a five-run third inning and led 8-1 before River Falls got a run in the seventh on an RBI single by Brian Giebel.

Trailing 9-2 in the bottom of the ninth, pinch runner Adam Brathol scored on a single by Kyle Westhuis and Westhuis eventually scored when Clint Kempf hit into a bases-loaded fielder’s choice to make the final 9-4.

La Crescent went on to lose to Chaseburg-Coon Valley, 12-4, in Saturday’s semifinal round while Sparta defeated Prescott, 2-1, in 12 innings to earn a spot in Sunday’s championship game.

See the Aug. 20 print edition of the River Falls Journal for more.

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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