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Posted on February 14, 2017

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Chippewa River Baseball League

Chippewa River Baseball League sees changes with teams, divisions

    BRANDON BERG brandon.berg@lee.net 1 hr ago 0

Longtime fans of the Chippewa River Baseball League will see changes for the league this season with one longtime team folding, another moving and a familiar team from the area joining the league.

The Hallie Eagles have folded after being in the CRBL for the past 39 seasons. The team had four different managers in the previous four seasons and instability with finding a new manager and players were key factors in the decision.

The team played over 650 games in the league with CRBL Hall of Famers Dave Hepfler, Rob Olson and Mike Thalacker playing for the Eagles. The team won three league championships and appeared in six league title games, most recently appearing in the 2009 title game.

The Eau Claire Cavaliers have joined the league after most recently playing in the Wisconsin Baseball Association’s Independent league.

The Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks have moved to Eau Claire and have been renamed the Eau Claire Rivermen. The Lumberjacks played in Chippewa Falls since 1983 before the move and will give Eau Claire three of the league’s 12 teams overall. The Lumberjacks’ 35 consecutive seasons of play was the third-longest active streak in the league behind only Tilden (66 years) and Hallie (39 years). The Lumberjacks won seven league titles, most recently in 2010 and also appeared in the 2013 league title game.

The Cavaliers will play their home games at Carson Park while the Bears and Rivermen will split their games between Stein Field and Fairfax Field in Eau Claire.

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The North and South Divisions have been realigned for the changes with the Cavaliers sliding into the North Division with the Bloomer Fightin’ Woodticks, Cadott Red Sox, Jim Falls Sturgeons, Stanley Slammers and Tilden Tigers. The Rivermen are now in the South Division with the Augusta A’s, Beef River Bullfrogs, Eau Claire Bears, Osseo Merchants and Whitehall Wolves.

The 2017 league schedule will not be finalized until the the end of February, but no additional changes are expected for the league. All teams will remain with a 22-game league schedule, playing each team twice. The teams will play 7-inning doubleheaders against non-divisional foes and two 9-inning games with league foes. Wild Card Wednesday will return for its fourth season as the top two non-division champions will square off with the North and South Division winners in the CRBL playoff semifinals with those two winners playing three days later for the league championship.