The final weekend of the regular season provided a little drama at the top of the St. Croix Valley Baseball League standings while also determining the final seeds for this weekend’s SCVBL Tournament.
River Falls clinches title on final day
The River Falls Fighting Fish needed to beat the Prescott Pirates Sunday in Prescott to clinch the SCVBL title outright, and lock up the No. 1 seed in the SCVBL Tournament, and they did just that by holding on for a 5-3 victory.
River Falls could have clinched the top spot Saturday night in Spring Valley but lost 9-8 on a three-run, walk-off home run off the left field foul pole by Dennis Schultz, his second home run of the game.
Ty Denzer, Trey Larson and Spencer Diedrich all homered for the Fish while Kyle Fritz took the loss in relief of starter Jake Lindsay.
Saturday Jaxin Larson pitched six innings to earn the win and River Falls scored two runs in the top of the seventh on an RBI double by Jaden Schwantz and a run-scoring single by Trey Larson that proved to be the difference in the Fish’s 5-3 title-clinching victory at Prescott. Mitchell Feyereisen and Lucas Luedtke also drove in a run apiece.
The top-seeded Fish, 15-3 in SCVBL play, 27-7 overall, will play either No. 8 Osceola or No. 9 Bay City in a tournament quarterfinal game Saturday at 4 p.m. in Bay City. The tournament continues with semifinals and the championship game Sunday in Prescott.
Hudson wins twice to earn No. 3 seed
The Hudson River Rats won both of their games over the weekend to finish in third place in the SCVBL with a record of 12-6, one game behind Prescott and one game ahead of Plum City.
The Rats completed a big 12-2 win over Plum City Saturday in a game that was suspended in the fourth inning a week earlier due to rain. Jake Busson had a big three-run triple in the win and Teddy Donna had two hits and two RBI while Owen Anderson singled, doubled and drove in a run.
Anderson also earned the win on the mound, throwing four innings of three-hit ball while striking out eight.
Saturday Logan VonBerge allowed just four hits and one earned run in eight innings of work, and Mitch Lewis had two hits and three RBI in a 5-2 victory over Osceola.
Hudson will open up SCVBL play with a quarterfinal game against Spring Valley Saturday at 1 p.m. in Prescott.
New Richmond ends season 1-17
The final record in St. Croix Valley Baseball League play isn’t a reflection of the dedication of the players on the New Richmond Millers’ roster. The Millers finished league play last Wednesday in a 9-2 loss at River Falls.
Millers manager Ryan Stephens raved about the dedication of his players, many who are driving an hour or more to games.
“All our guys averaged 18 games in a 20-game schedule,” Stephens said.
The issue this season for the Millers simply has been pitching. When their top three pitchers from last season all left for other SCVBL teams, it left the team hamstrung. Last Wednesday’s game was no different. Brady Cunningham gave a gritty effort on the mound, allowing three runs over six innings. River Falls teed off against the Millers’ bullpen, including a five-run eighth inning.
Until then, this was a game. The Millers cut the lead to 4-2 when Tommy Grygienc singled home Titus Krech and Brock Luehman in the seventh inning.
Stephens said the Millers were making excellent contact in the game. He credited River Falls centerfielder Spencer Diedrich with showing incredible range, racing to both alleys to take away hits from the Millers.
The Millers will open SCVBL tournament play as the No. 10 seed against No. 7 Ellsworth Saturday at 10 a.m. in Prescott. The winner will move on to the quarterfinals against No. 2 seed Prescott Saturday at 4 p.m.
Correspondent Dave Newman contributed to this story