The 2017 Eau Claire Bears look to build off another excellent season in which the Bears won 18 games and went back to the CRBL Championship game for the second time in three years. Although the Bears had great success during the regular season and defeated the North Division Champions, Tilden in the CRBL Wild-Card game, the Bears lost to Osseo 4-0 in the Championship game. It was the Bears 10th championship game appearance, good for third all-time. In the WBA playoffs, the Bears won their opening round game against Merrill 4-0, but lost in heartbreaking fashion to the defending state champions, Chaseburg-Coon Valley on a walk off suicide squeeze, 5-4.
As far as individual awards go, the Bears had four players honored as All-Leaguers. Chevy Tollefson earned his third All-League pitcher award, while First Baseman, Jake Lindberg earned his second consecutive All-League award. Mitch DeGrasse earned his first All-League award as a utility player, as his combination of pitching and hitting statistics were some of the best in the leauge. DeGrasse also threw a nine-inning no hitter against Beef River, the 54th in league history and only the 26th nine inning no-no. Finally, Palmer “Clutchmaster 2016” Buss was All-League Honorable Mention, as he continually came through with big hit after big hit all season long.
The Bears are looking forward to building upon a successful season of 2016 and hope the 2017 post season is one to remember. Make sure to come out to a ball game this summer to cheer on the Bears.
Coaches: Dave Strauch, Manager: Reed Pecha
Elvis Lowney, Garrett Phillips, Sam Janni, Chevy Tollefson, Brian Menard, Jake Sandstrom, Jordan Dickerson, Greg Button, Ryan Connor, Palmer Buss, Jake Olson, Chris Flater, Zach Butera, Blake Johnson, Reed Pecha, Jim Thill, Matt Lunde, Jake Lindberg