Month: August 2021

CRBL Season Wrap-Up

Final 2021 CRBL Standings

North Division

PosTeamWLPctGBRSRADiffHomeRoadL10Strk
11820.9000141499212-0-06-2-08-2-0L1
21550.7503162501129-2-06-3-07-3-0W3
31460.700411372414-0-010-6-06-4-0W4
49110.450980128-480-4-09-7-06-4-0L1
55150.2501366138-725-13-00-2-04-6-0W3
61190.0501761175-1141-10-00-9-00-10-0L18

South Division

PosTeamWLPctGBRSRADiffHomeRoadL10Strk
11730.850013246867-1-010-2-08-2-0W3
21190.5506125101248-4-03-5-05-5-0L2
310100.500711199123-3-07-7-04-6-0W1
47130.3501076118-427-9-00-4-01-9-0L3
53170.1501457148-911-7-02-10-02-8-0L2

2021 Noteworthy Performances & Milestones

Hitting

  • There were ten .400+ hitters this year in league play.
  • In his 20th season, the Eau Claire Bears’ Todd Lasher had 12 hits, 3 doubles and notched 15 total bases, moving into 3rd place all time in total bases (733), 6th place all-time in doubles (82), and 7th place all-time in hits (430).
  • Nathan Kent, the unanimous All-CRBL 2nd baseman of the Eau Claire Bears, led the circuit in hitting with a robust .558 average (29/52) as well as in steals with 13 swipes. The last person to lead the CRBL in both those categories in the same season was current league officer and Eau Claire Rivemen Chad Zutter. “Zut” accomplished the feat back in 2001 when he was with the Hallie Eagles, hitting .467 (21/45) with 10 stolen bases.
  • In his 29th season, Eau Claire Rivermen’s Andy Niese became the CRBL’s all-time leader in games played with 522, breaking the previous record of 506 held by Jim Falls legend Keith Pitsch.
  • Niese made his 21st CRBL All-Star game appearance, breaking the all-time mark of 20 All-Star games, held by Bloomer legend and CRBL Hall of Famer Scott Stuckert.
  • Niese also became the first player to cross the 600-hit barrier. With 16 hits this year, the CRBL’s all-time hit leader now has 607 for his career.
  • The league wide batting average dropped from .311 in 2019 to .285 in 2021, a decrease of 8.4%.

Pitching

  • Osseo’s Luke Eide became the first pitcher since 2002 to capture the pitching triple crown, leading the CRBL in wins (10), strikeouts (99) and ERA (0.95).
  • Eide’s strikeout total is the highest since 2012 when Jim Falls’ Cody Bunkelman struck out 107 CRBL batters.
  • Luke’s 10 wins are the most since Tyler Gray had 10 victories while pitching for the Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks in 2010.
  • The last pitcher to win the pitching triple crown was CRBL Hall of Famer Kurt Stellplug, accomplishing his trifecta (7 wins, 81 K’s, 1.36 ERA) in 2002 while also pitching for the Osseo Merchants.
  • Eide also twirled one of this season’s two no-hitters, a 5-inning blitz of Cadott in a 13-0 victory on June 13th. It was the CRBL’s 65th no-hitter in history.
  • Luke’s Osseo teammate, lefty Logan Boettcher went 4 and 0 off the mound, strengthening his grip as the CRBL’s all-time winningest pitcher with an .860 win clip thanks to a sterling career record of 37 and 6.
  • Levi Schaller of the Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks threw the CRBL’s lone-no hitter this year, doing so in a 1-0 gem vs. the Tilden Tigers on April 28th. It was the 64 no-hitter in CRBL history.
  • In his 14th CRBL season, Bloomer’s Curtis Dachel led the league with 85.2 innings pitched. Dachel’s herculean total vaulted him in to 11th place all-time in that category with 732. The leader is iron man and CRBL Hall of Famer Russ Nelson with an incredible 1,720.1 innings pitched in CRBL play over his 35 year career.
  • With a 4 and 3 record off the mound in 2021, Eau Claire Bears’ player/manager Chevy Tollefson now has 56 wins in his CRBL career, good for 11th place all-time at the completion of his 13th league season.
  • The Eau Claire Rivermen’s Tyler Gray continues to ascend the CRBL’s all-time pitching rankings. With 2021 marking his 16th CRBL season.
  • Hurling 63.2 innings in 2021, “Tgray” now ranks 3rd all-time in innings pitched with 995.1.
  • Notching 1 shutout, Gray also ranks 3rd all-time with 14 shutouts. The leader is Chippewa Falls great and CRBL Hall of Famer Jim Hoepner with 19.
  • With his 4 wins in 2021, Gray moves in 3rd place in that category as well with 86 career victories. The all-time leader is the aforementioned Jim Hoepner with 109 W’s.
  • The league wide earned run average dropped from 5.13 in 2019 to 5.00 in 2021, a decrease of 2.5%.

Managerial

  • With 2021 marking his 17th season serving as a player/manager, the Eau Claire Rivermen’s skipper Andy Niese now ranks on the following all-time charts.
  • 2nd all-time in seasons managed – the leader is Scott Stuckert with 27 seasons
  • 2nd all-time in managerial wins with 180. The all-time leader is also Scott Stuckert with 186 victories.

Hitting Statistical Leaders

PlayerTeamHitsAt-BatsAvg. (minimum 40 at-bats)
Nathan KentEau Claire Bears2952.558
Mitch VollerEau Claire Cavaliers2553.475
Jordan SteinmetzTilden Tigers2043.465
Nolan BaierTilden Tigers2968.426
Nolan HutzlerChippewa LumberJacks2354.425
Nate HayesChippewa LumberJacks2457.421
Nolan MatsonOsseo Merchants2968.413
Anthony PogodzinskiEau Claire Cavaliers2151.412
Blake JohnsonEau Claire Bears2254.407
Jon SchochTilden Tigers2459.406
PlayerTeamAt-Bats
Nolan BaierTilden Tigers68
Sawyer SturzEau Claire Rivermen68
Cole ZwiefelhoferTilden Tigers68
Trent VodrasekWhitehall Wolves67
Scott Hovell Whitehall Wolves63
PlayerTeamHits
Nolan BaierTilden Tigers29
Nathan KentEau Claire Bears29
Nolan MatsonOsseo Merchants26
Nate HayesChippewa Falls LumberJacks24
Corey PoirierBloomer Woodticks24
Jon SchochTilden Tigers24
Cole ZwiefelhoferTilden Tigers24
PlayerTeamDoubles
Jon SchochTilden Tigers9
Matt MartineauChippewa Falls LumberJacks7
Jordan SteinmetzTilden Tigers7
Tyler GrayEau Claire Rivermen6
Nolan MatsonOsseo Merchants6
Storm StandifordOsseo Merchants6
PlayerTeamTriples
Josh HallingEau Claire Bears3
Tanner HalversonEau Claire Cavaliers3
Lucas SteinmetzTilden Tigers3
Jesse BrockmanOsseo Merchants2
James DavisEau Claire Rivermen2
PlayerTeamHomeruns
Nolan BaierTilden Tigers3
Scott HovellWhitehall Wolves3
Seven players tied with2
PlayerTeamRBI’s
Nolan BaierTilden Tigers30
Jon SchochTilden Tigers29
Cole ZwiefelhoferTilden Tigers24
Mitch VollerEau Claire Cavaliers18
Anthony PogodzinskiEau Claire Cavaliers17
PlayerTeamRuns Scored
Jordan SteinmetzTilden Tigers32
Alex RufTilden Tigers25
Ryan FreitagOsseo Merchants20
Nolan MatsonOsseo Merchants20
Mitch VollerEau Claire Cavaliers18
Nathan KentEau Claire Bears18
PlayerTeamStolen Bases
Nathan KentEau Claire Bears13
Dawson MathwigChippewa Falls LumberJacks9
Jimmy SchemenuerChippewa Falls LumberJacks9
Jaxon VanceEau Claire Cavaliers9
Kole LekvinEau Claire Cavaliers8
Connor StoikBloomer Woodticks8
Mitch VollerEau Claire Cavaliers8
PlayerTeamWalks
Jon SchochTilden Tigers19
Jordan SteinmetzTilden Tigers18
Ryan FreitagOsseo Merchants16
Jesse BrockmanOsseo Merchants14
Nolan HutzlerChippewa Falls LumberJacks14
Nate PronschinskeWhitehall Wolves14
TeamHitsAt-BatsTeam Avg.
Eau Claire Bears163580.340
Tilden Tigers182543.335
Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks168520.323
Eau Claire Cavaliers176561.314
Osseo Merchants176569.309
Eau Claire Rivermen151539.280
Whitehall Wolves124460.270
Bloomer Woodticks139516.269
Beef River Bullfrogs133523.254
Cadott Red Sox126508.248
Jim Falls Sturgeons129537.240

Pitching Statistical Leaders

PlayerTeamERIPERA (Minimum 20 IP)
Luke EideOsseo Merchants766.10.95
Logan BoettcherOsseo Merchants3221.27
Levi SchallerChippewa Falls LumberJacks943.11.87
Paul PetitEau Claire Cavaliers10461.96
PJ LeQuiaTilden Tigers9342.38
Carter HesselmanEau Claire Cavaliers827.22.60
Zack ThiesseEau Claire Bears14423.00
Carl KrumenauerTilden Tigers7213.00
Scott HovellWhitehall Woilves15393.46
Chevy TollefsonEau Claire Bears16413.51
PlayerTeamIP
Curtis DachelBloomer Woodticks85.2
Luke EideOsseo Merchants66.1
Tyler GrayEau Claire Rivermen63.2
James DavisEau Claire Rivermen52.2
Paul PetitEau Claire Cavaliers46
PlayerTeamW
Luke EideOsseo Merchants10
Curtis DachelBloomer Woodticks9
Scott HovellWhitehall Wolves6
Paul PetitEau Claire Cavaliers6
Levi SchallerChippewa Falls LumberJacks5
Zack ThiesseEau Claire Bears5
PlayerTeam Win % (Minimum 5 decisions)
Luke EideOsseo Merchants .909 (10-1)
Paul PetitEau Claire Cavaliers .857 (6-1)
Scott HovellWhitehall Wolves .750 (6-2)
Levi SchallerChippewa Falls LumberJacks .714 (5-2)
Zack ThiesseEau Claire Bears .714 (5-2)
PlayerTeam Strikeouts
Luke EideOsseo Merchants99
Levi SchallerChippewa Falls LumberJacks83
Curtis DachelBloomer Woodticks78
Tyler GrayEau Claire Rivermen66
Paul PetitEau Claire Cavaliers59
PlayerTeam Saves
Chase BredlEau Claire Cavaliers2
Todd LasherEau Claire Bears2
Ryan KrumenauerJim Falls Sturgeons2
Joel ZachowEau Claire Bears2
PlayerTeamShutouts
Luke EideOsseo Merchants4
Paul PetitEau Claire Cavaliers4
PlayerTeam K’s/9 IP (Minimum 20 innings pitched)
Blake ThiesseEau Claire Bears 18.15 (41K / 20.1 IP)
Levi SchallerChippewa Falls LumberJacks 17.24 (83 K / 43.1 IP)
Luke EideOsseo Merchants 13.43 (99 K / 66.1 IP)
Logan BoettcherOsseo Merchants 12.27 (30 K / 22 IP)
Scott HovellWhitehall Wolves 12.23 (53 K / 39 IP)
Beef River Bullfrogs TeamEarned RunsInnings PitchedTeam ERA
Osseo Merchants30139.21.93
Eau Claire Cavaliers37141.12.36
Tilden Tigers371242.69
Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks51125.13.66
Eau Claire Bears59135.13.92
Whitehall Wolves73129.25.07
Eau Claire Rivermen831385.41
Bloomer Woodticks88135.15.85
Jim Falls Sturgeons102131.26.97
Cadott Red Sox114121.18.46
Beef River Bullfrogs118125.18.47

CRBL All-League Awards

The CRBL managers have voted and selected the 2021 CRBL All-League awards. The Osseo Merchants were awarded the most All-League selections with five.

PositionPlayerTeam
PitcherLevi SchallerChippewa Falls LumberJacks
PitcherCurtis DachelBloomer Woodticks
PitcherLuke Eide*Osseo Merchants
CatcherNolan HutzlerChippewa Falls LumberJacks
1st BaseNate HayesChippewa Falls LumberJacks
2nd BaseNathan Kent*Eau Claire Bears
3rd BaseNolan Baier*Tilden Tigers
ShortstopJesse BrockmanOsseo Merchants
OutfieldJon SchochTilden Tigers
OutfieldJordan SteinmetzTilden Tigers
OutfieldMitch VollerEau Claire Cavaliers
UtilityTyler GrayEau Claire Rivermen
DHNolan Matson*Osseo Merchants
MVPLuke EideOsseo Merchants
ROYMitch VollerEau Claire Cavaliers
Sportmanship AwardCadott Red Sox
Manager of the YearLuke AndersonOsseo Merchants
*Unanimous Selection
  • Within the thirteen individuals selected for 2021 All-CRBL awards, there were eight first year winners, three repeat winners from 2019, and five individuals who had previously won an All-CRBL award.
  • With his 6th All-CRBL award, the Eau Claire Rivermen’s Tyler Gray is now tied for 15th all-time in that category.
  • The all-time leader in All-CRBL selections is the Eau Claire Rivermen’s Andy Niese with 12.

Honorable Mention All-CRBL

TeamPlayerPosition
Beef River BullfrogsBrandon JaenkePitcher
Bloomer WoodticksConnor StoikShortstop
Cadott Red SoxZac MerrittShortstop
Chippewa Falls LumberJacksChip BlairDH
Eau Claire BearsBlake JohnsonDH
Eau Claire CavaliersAnthony Pogodzinski1st Base
Eau Claire RivermenJames DavisUtility
Jim Falls SturgeonsRyan KrumenauerUtility
Osseo MerchantsJoe Zawacki1st Base
Tilden TigersCole ZwiefelhoferUtility
Whitehall WolvesJordan HauserCatcher

  • Of the eleven individuals recognized with an Honorable Mention All-CRBL award, eight were first time winners and three were previous winners.
  • Tyler Gray’s six Honorable Mention Awards are a CRBL record.

CRBL Gold Glove Awards

For the first time in CRBL history, the league officers and managers have selected Gold Gloves. This represents each teams best defensive player, regardless of position.

TeamPlayerPosition
Beef River BullfrogsTaylor Rathke2nd Base
Bloomer WoodticksJake MalinowskiCenter Field
Cadott Red SoxShawn SedlacekLeft Field
Chippewa Falls LumberJacksJake VarshoShortstop
Eau Claire BearsAlex JenkinsCatcher
Eau Claire CavaliersJaxon VanceShortstop
Eau Claire RivermenSawyer SturzShortstop
Jim Falls SturgeonsTristin HableCenter Field
Osseo MerchantsTodd WienkesCatcher
Tilden TigersJordan SteinmetzCenter Field
Whitehall WolvesJordan HauserCatcher

CRBL League Championship Set

The 2021 CRBL League Championship is set to start with Wildcard Wednesday, August 4th. The #1 seed Eau Claire Cavaliers will play #4 seed Chippewa Falls LumberJacks at Casper Park, while the #2 seed Osseo Merchants will host #3 Tilden Tigers. Both games first pitch is set for 7 pm.

The winners of Wildcard Wednesday will play on Saturday, August 7th at 12:30 pm with the higher seed hosting.

2021 CRBL Championship Game Facts

  • It is the first time these storied franchises have faced each other in the CRBL title bout.
  • The wildcard format was instituted into the CRBL in 2014. Coincidently, this is the first time since 2014 that two wildcard teams will meet in the championship game.
  • Osseo was trying to become the first team since the 1969-73 Tilden Tigers to win five CRBL titles in a row.
  • Osseo has won five division titles in a row (2016-2019, 2021). The Tilden Tigers hold the longest such streak, winning 9 division titles in row from 1974 to 1982.
  • Tilden holds the CRBL record for most league titles with 17 as well as most league championship game appearances with 37.
  • The Lumberjacks are second all-time in league titles with 7 as well as league championship appearances with 11.
  • The Eau Claire Bears have claimed the most wildcard spots with a current total of 6.
  • The first league championship “game” was actually a best out-of-three series that took place in 1928, the second year the CRBL functioned after an unexplained18-year hiatus (there was league play in 1908 and 1909 and then it was absent until 1927). In the 1928 series, the Eagleton Eageltons swept Eau Claire Union, 2 games to 0 games.
  • In the most recent CRBL championship, Osseo prevailed over Tilden, 12 to 6 at Osseo in 2019. Catcher Todd Wienkes of Osseo was named game MVP.
  • The last time the Lumberjacks’ franchise was in the CRBL championship was in 2013 when they lost 1-0 to the Whitehall Wolves at Casper Park.