River Bats sold, will have new name
(ST. CLOUD, MN) The Northwoods League held a press conference in St. Cloud on Wednesday afternoon to announce the sale of the St. Cloud franchise formerly known as the River Bats.
New team owners and lifelong St. Cloud area residents Gary Posch, Joe Sexton, and Scott Schreiner recently purchased the franchise and will re-brand the organization with a new team name, colors, and logo. The new-look franchise will be unveiled to the public with an event in St. Cloud later in February. Posch, is team President, Sexton is a Partner, and Schreiner, a former River Bats General Manager, is Vice President/Partner of the St. Cloud franchise.
Joel Sutherland previously owned the St. Cloud River Bats since the franchise’s inception in 1997. Over the 15 seasons, the River Bats were one of the most successful franchises in the Northwoods League for a number of reasons. The River Bats own the second most League Championships with three (1998, 2000 & 2007). Only the Rochester Honkers, with five, have more. The River Bats played more playoff games than any other team and have the most wins with 23 and are tied for first with 10 postseason appearances. At the gate, the River Bats always finished in the upper half of the NWL in attendance and led the league in average attendance for three years from 1998-2000. And of the 86 former Northwoods League players that have become Major Leaguers, 14 of them were former River Bats, which is more than any other NWL franchise.
About the owners:
Gary Posch (pronounced POHSH) is a lifelong St. Cloud area resident growing up in rural Rice and attending Sauk Rapids High School. Gary studied at St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical and Community College. He and business partner Joe Sexton purchased Brandl Motors of Pierz, MN in 1999. They have grown the business from 4 full time employees in 1999 to almost 70 current full time employees as of today with dealership operations in Little Falls and St Cloud. Posch and Sexton have established the Brandl Motors Scholarship that provides educational scholarships for students in the greater St. Cloud area. Posch is active in many area civic groups and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the St. Cloud Technical and Community College Foundation. In 2010, Posch was one of the founding partners of the Willmar Stingers of the Northwoods League with Marc Jerzak and Ryan Voz. Posch will become the President of the St. Cloud affiliate of the Northwoods League. Gary currently resides in Sauk Rapids with wife Meredith, daughter Mackenzie and sons Brady and Cullen.
Joe Sexton is a lifelong resident of the St. Cloud area and attended St. Cloud Cathedral High School. Joe studied at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. He and business partner, Gary Posch purchased Brandl Motors of Pierz in 1999. Today, the Brandl Automotive Group employees almost 70 full time people with locations in Little Falls and St Cloud. As a business owner, Joe has been a part of many local fundraising drives including the American Cancer Society, Central Minnesota Boy Scouts, and numerous other charities. As a partner in the St. Cloud affiliate of the Northwoods League, Sexton’s emphasis will be on marketing. His “outside the box” thinking will bring an exciting aspect to the St. Cloud franchise. Joe and his wife Kathy reside in St Cloud, with daughters Jessica and Kayla, and son Cole.
Scott Schreiner is originally from St. Nicholas, MN and a graduate of ROCORI High School in Cold Spring, MN. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University in 1999. Scott was the General Manager of the St. Cloud River Bats from 2000 to 2004. During his time with the River Bats they broke single-season attendance records every year and won more games than any other Northwoods League team. Scott has seen nine former players make it to the major leagues. After the 2004 season Scott was hired as the Vice President of the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United Stated Hockey League. Scott spent two seasons in Des Moines before he returned to his alma mater St. Cloud State University as an Assistant Athletic Director for six years. Scott is now the Vice President/Partner of the St. Cloud Northwoods League franchise. Scott and his wife Holly reside in St. Cloud, MN.
The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games, and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. The League has 16 teams in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, and Ontario.