The St. Croix Valley Baseball League season officially ended last weekend with the River Falls Fighting Fish defeating the Spring Valley Hawks in the League Championship game 6-3 in Ellsworth. The …
The St. Croix Valley Baseball League season officially ended last weekend with the River Falls Fighting Fish defeating the Spring Valley Hawks in the League Championship game 6-3 in Ellsworth.
The final games started on Saturday, Aug. 7, moving from Ellsworth to First National Bank of River Falls Field due to inclement weather. The first matchup was between the Hudson River Rats and Elmwood Expos.
The River Rats and Expos had a back and forth in scoring and leads throughout their game, but after scoring a couple runs in the bottom of the sixth, the River Rats beat the Expos 8-7. They advanced in the tournament bracket to face the Prescott Pirates.
The next match up at First National Bank Stadium that evening was between the Spring Valley Hawks and River Falls Fighting Fish. The Hawks and Fighting Fish had a low-scoring game that was tied going into the seventh inning. Neither team could score and the game continued on into the 10th inning, when the Hawks scored in the top half and went on to have an upset victory over the Fighting Fish 4-3. This victory rewarded the Hawks with the top seeding in the SCVBL championship game.
The final game Aug. 7 was between the Hudson River Rats and Prescott Pirates. The Pirates shut out and mercy ruled the River Rats 11-0 through five innings, sending them to face off against the Fighting Fish for the final slot in the SCVBL championship game against the Hawks.
The SCVBL moved back to Summit Park in Ellsworth for the final two games of the tournament. The first game took place between the Pirates and Fighting Fish. The Fish got the scoring going in the bottom of the first, taking a 2-0 lead thanks to three straight hit by pitches to start the game and a two-run RBI single from Andy Metcalf.
From there, the Fighting Fish scored six more runs while the Pirates only put one run on the board. The Fish went on to win 81 and headed for a rematch with the Hawks.
Like their first game on Sunday, Aug. 8, the Fighting Fish took the chance to score first against the Hawks. Outfielder Brian Giebel scored the game's first run on an RBI single by Lucas Luedtke. The Hawks did not answer back and went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second. The Fighting Fish took advantage and scored four runs on four hits and two errors to take a 5-0 lead into the top of the third inning.
Both the Hawks and Fighting Fish kept their opponents’ bats quiet in the third inning with the score remaining 5-0 Fish going into the fourth. The Hawks continued to struggle at the plate in the top of the fourth, leaving the score at 5-0 into the bottom half of the inning. The Fighting Fish tagged their final run of the game in the bottom of the fourth thanks to another RBI single by Luedtke.
The fifth inning remained scoreless for both teams, but the Hawks finally got a few runs on the board in the top of the sixth inning, scoring three runs on three hits and an error. In the top of the seventh, Fish pitchers Charlie Griffin and Kyle Fritz split their time on the mound to get the final three outs of the game, crowning the River Falls Fighting Fish as the 2021 St. Croix Valley Baseball League Champions.
The Fighting Fish, along with the Spring Valley Hawks, Osceola Braves, Prescott Pirates, Hudson River Rats, and Plum City Blues played this past weekend in the Wisconsin Baseball Association District Playoffs. See separate article.