WATCH: Grand Forks Expedition League team won't return to action, league cuts season short

The summer collegiate wood-bat Red River Pilots coach and players went home last week. Despite shortened season, commissioner says the league is still 'alive and well.'

Red River Pilots
Players from the Red River Pilots meet on the mound during the team's final game against the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs
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After coming to an unexpected pause last week, the Red River Pilots season will not restart as the Expedition League is wrapping up its season early. The summer collegiate wood-bat league will play its championship series this week, which is nearly a month earlier than expected.

This news comes less than a week after Red River Pilots players and its head coach Matty Holem left Grand Forks midseason, citing player concerns and poor management. Since then a second team, North Iowa, ended its season early as well.

League commissioner Steve Wagner had wanted to reassemble the roster and keep the season going, something that could not happen.

"We are alive and well and what happened here this year was not good," Wagner said. "It's not good when one guy makes a decision that impacts other teams and the entire league. In an unauthorized fashion and then tries to badmouth us in the press with things that are untrue, so that's frustrating, but I guess it comes with the territory."

Holem has denied the Pilots decision was his alone, saying it was a choice made in conjunction with the players.

Zach Staton joined WDAY as a sports reporter in 2018. He grew up in Salem, Virginia loving any sport he could play or watch. Staton graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in Communication Studies before getting his Master's in Broadcast and Digital Journalism with a Sports Communication Emphasis from Syracuse University.
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