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Amatuer baseball: Hager City joins St. Croix Valley League

The Hager City Skeeters are the newest team in the St. Croix Valley League. The Skeeters were voted into the league 9-2 at the SCVL's winter meeting held at Mike's Bay Town Bar and Grill in Bay City.

Although the vote was by secret ballot, according to league secretary Chris LaBreche, Ellsworth and Bay City were the only two clubs that offered opposition to the Skeeters joining the league due concerns about having enough players, enough area businesses for sponsorships and enough pitching to field three teams within 10 miles of each other.

"They were very principled in their opposition, but I think most of the clubs felt that we should reward Hager City if they were able to complete a full season and show they have a stable operation and they met that criteria," LaBreche said.

Hager City will be placed in the South Division along with Prescott, Plum City, Bay City, Ellsworth and Elmwood.

In the SCVL's North Division are St. Croix Falls, New Richmond, Osceola, River Falls, Hudson and Menomonie. St. Croix Falls was voted in last year.

"I think we proved there are a lot of baseball players in our area who just want the opportunity to play," Hager City General manager Mike Maves said.

"I don't predict we'll be world beaters or win the division in our first year in the league, but we're really looking forward to competing to get in the playoffs and be a part of the rivalries against our Pierce County opponents."

All six of the teams in the South Division are from Pierce County.

The Skeeters played against many SCVL opponents last year with the exception of Ellsworth.

The league's schedule and rosters will be set at a spring meeting April 18 at East Ender Bar and Grill, Ellsworth. Play could begin April 26.

Also discussed during the winter meeting were proposals to change the bidding process for league playoff sites and add a double elimination format to the playoffs like Minnesota's. Both proposals will be taken to the Wisconsin Baseball Association's meeting.