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Fish sent to Strum for playoffs

River Falls Fighting Fish rookie Jaxin Larson winds up to deliver a pitch in the team's final game of the regular season against the Minneapolis Angels Wednesday, Aug. 1 at First National Bank of River Falls Field. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

Despite winning the St. Croix Valley Baseball League North Division and finishing third overall in the 12-team league standings, the River Falls Fighting Fish earned a No. 3 seed in their four-team bracket for the opening round of the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs.

The Fish will open postseason play in Strum Friday, Aug. 10, against the No. 2 seed La Crescent Cardinals. The winner will face either the top-seeded Osseo Merchants or the No. 4 Medford Moon Dogs Sunday, Aug. 12, at noon for a berth in the eight-team WBA finals Aug. 17-19 in Osseo.

The Fish won the SCVBL North Division with a record of 10-6 (18-15 overall), while La Crescent finished second in the eight-team Mississippi Valley Conference.

River Falls is one of six SCVBL teams to qualify for the WBA playoffs and will be joined in Strum by the Elmwood Expos (12-4 SCVBL), who earned a No. 2 seed in their bracket and will play the No. 3 Viroqua Red Sox of the Mississippi Valley League Saturday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m.

The SCVBL champion Prescott Pirates (13-3) earned a No. 1 seed and will open the postseason in Haugen against the fourth-seeded Eau Claire Rivermen of the Chippewa River Valley Baseball League Saturday, Aug. 11, at 12 p.m. In the other bracket at Haugen, the third-seeded Spring Valley Hawks (10-6) will play the No. 2 Eau Claire Bears at 6 p.m.

The Menomonie Eagles (9-7) earned a No. 3 seed at Stanley and will face the second-seeded Tilden Tigers of the CRVBL Saturday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. while the Hudson River Rats (8-8) are a No. 4 seed at Rib Lake and will play the top-seeded Marshfield Chaparrals of the Dairyland League Saturday, Aug. 11, at 3 p.m.

The WBA has been hosting a postseason tournament since 1949 when the New Richmond Millers won the very first state title. River Falls has qualified for the WBA playoffs every year since its inception in 2008, winning it's lone championship in 2011.

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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