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Rats to open playoffs in Eau Claire Saturday

River Rats outfielder Chris Kein watched his bunt attempt roll foul in the Rats final home game of the season Friday night against the defending WBA state champion Eau Claire Bears. Bob Burrows photo

The Hudson River Rats received the No. 2 seed in the Chippewa Falls bracket of the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs and will open up postseason play against the Bayside Vipers Saturday, August 8 at 9 a.m. at Carson Park in Eau Claire.

The third-seeded Vipers finished the season with a record of 16-9, 8-4 in the Upper 13 League based out of Superior.

The River Rats improved to 19-9 overall with a pair of victories last week in tune-ups for the upcoming playoffs. The Rats defeated the defending WBA state champion Eau Claire Bears, 4-3, Friday night in their final home game of the season at Grandview Park before topping Ellsworth, 3-0, Saturday in Plum City.

Hudson earned the No. 2 seed in its bracket for the first round of this weekend's playoffs by virtue of its 12-4 St. Croix Valley Baseball League record.

The Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks of the Chippewa River Baseball League earned the top seed by posting a 14-4 league record and will face the independent Spooner Cardinals (10-6) Friday at 7 p.m. at Carson Park.

The winners of Friday night's game and Saturday's contest between Hudson and Bayside will face each other Sunday at 9 a.m. in Eau Claire for a berth in the eight-team WBA State Championship Tournament Aug. 14-16 in Haugen.

Four other SCVBL team qualified for the 32-team WBA playoff field. The South Division champion Prescott Pirates will face the Abbotsford Merchants Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Abbotsford while the North Division champ River Falls Fighting Fish will play the Tilden Tigers Saturday at noon in Ellsworth.

Also in Ellsworth, the Ellsworth Hubbers will host the Haugen Knights Friday at 7:30 p.m. and the New Richmond Millers will face the La Crosse Athletics Saturday at 3 p.m. The Menomonie Eagles will square off against the Hallie Eagles Saturday at 4 p.m. in Eau Claire.

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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