Baseball in west central Minnesota benefited recently when a Willmar Stingers minority owner completed a purchase of the St. Cloud River Bats franchise in the Northwoods League.
Gary Posch completed the purchase of the River Bats on Jan. 25 with his business partners Joe Sexton and Scott Schreiner. They take over as franchise owners from Joel Sutherland, who ran into financial difficulties after owning the team since its 1997 inception.
While Posch will maintain his minority owner role with the Northwoods League's Willmar franchise, co-owners Ryan Voz and Marc Jerzak will maintain their sole control on the Stringer franchise. This is good for Willmar as this management duo have done a good job of marketing as well as putting a good team on the field.
The Northwoods League is a summer baseball league comprised of teams of the top college players from across the nation and North America. The league has six franchises based in Minnesota and others in Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Manitoba.
The new owners should help stabilize the River Bats team and help maintain the Northwoods League's St. Cloud location. This is beneficial for the Minnesota-based franchises for a travel standpoint. It is helps maintain the regional rivalries with the Willmar and Alexandria Beetles franchises.
The new ownership is a positive development for the St. Cloud franchise and the Northwoods League.
Remember baseball is just around the corner with Major League Baseball spring training as well as college baseball starting this month.