MBA News

Nick Gerhardt

Jordan leads early voting in the DuraEdge Field of the Year contest

Remember to vote for the Field of the Year and sign up for DuraEdge’s On the Field events July 27-28 at CHS Field in St. Paul

Below are the current standings for the Field of the Year voting as of 8 a.m. July 17, 2024. Jordan has jumped out into an early lead! But can they hold it. There are still 15 days left to vote. Voting closes at 11:59 pm on Friday, Aug. 2. Make your voice heard! Vote for your favorite field. Click this link: MN Town Ball Field of the Year Voting to place your vote. IMPORTANT! Be sure to confirm your vote at the end of the voting process in order for it to count.

Also, DuraEdge On the Field events are coming up on Saturday night July 27 and Sunday afternoon July 28 at CHS Field in Saint Paul. If your team is interested at how DuraEdge can help your infield perform better, especially in rainy seasons like the one experienced this year all over the state of Minnesota. Go to https://duraedge.com/milb-events/ for more information and to register for you and a guest to join DuraEdge on the field and in a suite at a Saint Paul Saints game to learn how we can help. Space is limited. See you at the park!

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Nick Gerhardt

Class B rankings: Burnsville bounds to the top

By Nick Gerhardtnickgerhardt@mnbaseball.org

Sparkling things grab attention and the sparkling records of some teams in Class B caught the eyes of our pollsters in this round of rankings.

Burnsville has cruised through the regular season and recently picked up a big 8-2 victory over Lyon’s Pub last week. That win and the resume thus far vaulted the Bobcats to the top spot in this edition of the poll.

Burnsville supplanted Miesville, which held the No. 1 spot. The Mudhens have an equally impressive record, going undefeated against league and section opponents. Miesville dropped just one spot to No. 2.

Perennial power Minnetonka moved up a spot to No. 3 while defending state champion Air Freight Unlimited moved up to No. 4 from No. 7 in the previous poll. Victoria has rattled off a bunch of wins and sits just behind Burnsville in the RVL East standings. The Vics rose from No. 9 to No. 5 in this poll.

Stockmen’s Irish dropped one spot to No. 6 but they’re a top 10 mainstay this season. Lyon’s Pub saw the biggest drop, going from No. 2 to No. 7. The Warriors share the spot with Elko, which enters the top 10 for the first time this year. Cold Spring dropped to No. 9 and the Rochester Royals took the No. 10 slot with one fourth-place vote.

Nate Jackson — Lyon’s Pub WarriorsWe’re getting close to the playoffs (insert Jim Mora) and teams are making it really difficult to measure their seasons. We found out that playing on paper doesn’t lead to success. League games are important. Tourneys are fun. Club teams can play. People said they’re going to retire but they didn’t … Shally. 😉 Teams in constant flux due to pro ball, Northwoods/collegiate summer leagues, and vacations. In the end, it’s about who’s available and how the teams are playing. We saw last year that regular season success can blind you when it comes to playoff time.

Burnsville Bobcats — The Kitties are good. It takes superior pitching to beat that lineup. If you get down early, pack your bags and go home. They’re positioned to rebound from last year’s section collapse.

Miesville Mudhens — Nothing better than a town of 100-plus people which has an A team with a C setup. Field, bar, church and cemetery. Woodbury/St. Thomas pipeline serves this team well. You won’t get an inch from this club but if you do, you better take full advantage of it. Just a bunch of college vets living the dream in the country.

Cold Spring Springers — Historical team that always seems to find a way to get it done. It’s not an easy lineup to get through and they have the pitching to support. They play a competitive schedule across B and C which makes it hard to hang a L on them. Look for them to make a run per usual with the potential of running the table.

Victoria Vics — Clark Poppitz has this team primed for a deep run. They’re playing really good baseball and it appears the guys have a chip on their shoulder from last year. Only losses are to Burnsville and Minnetonka. They’re firing on all cylinders and if they can keep this going, they’re going to be trouble.

St. Louis Park Town Team aka the Pirates — New management. Young blood. Smaller schedule. This is a recipe for success. Healthy vets, energetic youth and league focused. Leading the Riverview. Not much is known about them due to visibility but if you ask the right people, they’re playing well. Although, which Park team is going to show up to the playoffs? They’re capable of running the table or pooping the bed.

Champlin Park LoGators — Rough start to the season but Marek has these boys playing ball at the right time. They’re running through the Metro Minny and I don’t think there’s no stopping this train. I’m sure they’re ready to bounce back from the first round exit from state last year.

Elko Express — Speaking of trains, the Express out of Elko have the tools to make a run this year. Bolstered pitching staff with the bats to support. Terry has his crew ready to show up to state and make a statement this year.

Stockmen’s Irish — The lads out of South St Paul are a little younger but still dangerous. They’re always in games, which can be troublesome for teams to compete with. Hit a little bit of a skid against the Snowmen and the Knights but that’s not going to deter the Irish. They like revenge and they will seek it. We miss Teddy!

Moorhead Brewers — Vet squad who is much like Cold Spring. Not much losing takes place with the Brewers. Hard to travel when you’re that far up north but saw them in Hinckley and I’m still convinced they can make some noise. They put balls in play, play defense and have strike throwers. They’re not a team you’ll want to see at state.

Minnetonka Monarchs – The Millers, I mean the Kings of Tonka are not an easy out. Shally retired but unretired because I’m guessing his golf game is not as good as his baseball game? Either way, Tonka has a squad per usual no matter what you call them. Wyatt Nelson leads the pack and Mike Davis swings the stick. New group of ball players is leading the change. Apparently, they do not like lefties who pitch for Baseball 365 who have added a wrinkle into the Riverview after leaving the P-Nash.

Other notables: Lyon’s Pub Warriors, Baseball 365, North St. Paul Snowmen, Shakopee Indians, Air Freight Unlimited, Minneapolis Cobras, St. Paul Mudhens, Andover Aces, Rochester Royals, Minneapolis Mudcats. *These are literally the teams that can turn these rankings upside-down and probably will.

Aldon Severson — Northfield Knights

Burnsville Bobcats

Lyon’s Pub Warriors

Miesville Mudhens

Minnetonka Monarchs

Air Freight Unlimited

Elko Express

Stockmen’s Irish

Victoria Vics

Shakopee Indians

Champlin Park LoGators

Jon Sands — Victoria Vics

Air Freight Unlimited

Miesville Mudhens

Minnetonka Monarchs

Burnsville Bobcats

Victoria Vics

Cold Spring Springers

Shakopee Indians

Elko Express

Moorhead Brewers

Anoka Bucs

Matt Marek — Champlin Park LoGators

Burnsville Bobcats (18-1)

Miesville Mudhens (13-2?)

Stockmen’s Irish (13-4)

Rochester Royals (13-4)

Minnetonka Monarchs (15-6-1)

Lyon’s Pub Warriors (20-8)

Air Freight Unlimited (9-3)

Victoria Vics (15-2)

Elko Express (17-7-1)

St. Paul Mudhens (10-2)

Honorable MentionNorth St. Paul Snowmen (7-1-1)Shakopee Indians (11-6)Baseball 365 (17-7)Moorhead Brewers (11-3)Cold Spring Springers (15-6)Champlin Park (16-10)

Class B rankings (as of July 18)(Pts)(Previous)

Burnsville Bobcats (37)(3)

Miesville Mudhens (35)(1)

Minnetonka Monarchs (22)(4)

Air Freight Unlimited (20)(7)

Victoria Vics (19)(9)

Stockmen’s Irish (15)(5)

Lyon’s Pub Warriors (14)(2)

Elko Express (14)(NR)

Cold Spring Springers (13)(8)

Rochester Royals (7)(NR)

Also receiving votes: Shakopee Indians, Champlin Park LoGators, Moorhead Brewers, Anoka Bucs, St. Louis Park Pirates, St. Paul Mudhens, North St. Paul Snowmen, Baseball 365, Minneapolis Cobras, Andover Aces and Minneapolis MudCats.

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Nick Gerhardt

Class C rankings: Top spots flip-flop and new teams hit top 10

By Nick Gerhardtnickgerhardt@mnbaseball.org

League playoffs are getting started across the state and we’ve seen a lot of jostling for the top spot in leagues.

Buffalo defeated Hutchinson 7-4 Tuesday to pull into a tie atop the North Star League with the Huskies. Over in the Crow River Valley League, Young America has pulled away in the South Division to clinch the division title. The Cardinals picked up a thrilling 8-7 walk-off win Saturday over North Division foe Waconia. The Lakers continue to tangle with Watertown for the top spot in the North Division. Up in the Victory League, Nisswa knocked off rival Buckman, in what has become one of the best rivalries in the state.

Our rankings, likewise, have teams battling for positions and we saw a lot of movement in this round. Jordan supplanted Buckman for the top spot, earning two first-place votes and a pair of second-place votes. The Billygoats didn’t go far and claimed the No. 2 position in this poll.

Our pollsters felt comfortable with Bird Island at No. 3 and kept the Bullfrogs there once again. New Ulm’s run through the Tomahawk East gained attention to allow the Brewers to jump two spots to No. 6.

Watertown checked in at No. 5 following a big loss to Young America, who leapt to share the No. 5 slot after claiming the No. 8 ranking last time.

Following Nisswa’s win over Buckman, the Lightning moved up to No. 7 from No. 10 in the previous poll. Hutchinson entered the rankings at No. 8 and has another battle with Buffalo coming up to possibly decide the North Star League title.

Waconia entered the top 10 at No. 9 while we saw a logjam for the final spot with Buffalo, St. Martin and Webster each claiming a share.

Chad Knutson — Heron Lake Lakers

Jordan Brewers

Buckman Billygoats

Watertown Red Devils

New Ulm Brewers

Bird Island Bullfrogs

Hutchinson Huskies

Young America Cardinals

Luverne Redbirds

St. Martin Martins

Webster Sox

Honorable MentionWaconia Lakers. Buffalo Bulldogs, Avon Lakers, Delano Athletics, Bemidji Blue Ox, Raymond Rockets, Nisswa Lightning, New Prague Orioles, Leavenworth Orioles, Isanti Redbirds, Courtland Cubs, Waterville Indians, Jackson Bulls, Red Wing Aces, Kimball Express

Tom Elliott — West Central Tribune

Nisswa Lightning — Nisswa has ended up with the top seed in its league playoffs over Buckman, so let’s switch these two Victory League powers.

Jordan Brewers — Jordan’s unbeaten in the River Valley League and looking like a state title contender again.

Bird Island Bullfrogs — Bird Island and Raymond have been the top two teams in the Corn Belt League all season. Who’s better, at least for now, gets answered Friday night when the two teams play in Raymond.

Hutchinson Huskies — Everything seems to have come together for the Huskies this summer. They lead the ever-competitive North Star League.

Watertown Red Devils — These guys always seem to be in the conversation when it comes to teams to watch in the state tournament.

New Ulm Brewers — New Ulm has emerged as the best team in the Tomahawk League once again.

Buckman Billygoats — These Billygoats are one of the best teams in the state and they play in a league that includes some other state tournament contenders like Avon, St. Stephen and Foley, among others.

Raymond Rockets — This is a team mixed with veteran talent, including a core still around from the 2016 state championship squad, and some really fine young talent.

St. Martin Martins — St. Martin made a decent state run last year and has had the best season in the Stearns County League so far.

Kimball Express — Everybody has beaten everybody else for the most part in the Central Valley League this season, demonstrating the true balance of the league. Watkins, Luxemburg and the Cold Spring Rockies are all really good clubs as well.

Aaron Worm — Mankato

Buckman Billygoats — Suffered first loss of the season to Nisswa, but still hold on to the top spot.

Jordan Brewers — 20-2, loss to Delano and Class B Victoria, but did pick up an impressive 7-0 win over Bird Island.

Nisswa Lighting — Big win against Buckman, they hold steady for me in the third spot.

Young America Cardinals — Flying up my rankings with the top record in the Crow.

Watertown Red Devils — Speaking of the Crow, the leaders of the North Division.

Bird Island Bullfrogs — Stay steady at No. 6 for me, did lose to a good Jordan team.

New Ulm Brewers — 19-2 overall, beat St James 21-0 on Sunday.

Hutchinson Huskies — 11-2 in the North Star League including win over Delano.

Delano Athletics — Still a strong 10-3 in the North Star League.

New Prague Orioles — Leaders of the DRS at 13-3.

Kip Kovar — Herald Journal

Jordan Brewers — At 20-2 on the season, Jordan is playing well once again, which is no surprise. I think they are on the same path as Delano was last year, being one of the favorites to win it all in their home ballpark.

Young America Cardinals — All the Cardinals have done is win 18 straight games in the Crow River Valley League. That’s impressive. Young America is coming off back-to-back wins over Plato and Waconia this year. The Cardinals also blew out Watertown early this season. Defense has struggled recently in big spots though and that’s something the Cardinals will need to clean up if they are serious about making a run at a state title.

Bird Island Bullfrogs — The Bullfrogs are at the top of the Corn Belt League and have been steady all year long. A big matchup with Raymond awaits them in a league showdown.

Buckman Billygoats — No shocker. They are still good and I look forward to seeing them in the state tournament once again if they make it.

Waconia Lakers — Dropped a tough one against Young America but are still a legit state title contender. John Bezdicek will become a household name for the Lakers if Waconia can get through a grueling Region 7C tournament.

New Ulm Brewers — The top team in the Tomahawk East League again. The Brewers are in line for another fun postseason out of Region 2C.

Buffalo Bulldogs — Probably one of the most underrated teams in the state right now. The Bulldogs are for real and should be getting a lot more attention. Sit atop the North Star League Standings heading into the final week.

Webster Sox — Don’t forget about these guys. A young and talented group looking to make a name for themselves again.

Hutchinson Huskies — The Huskies are rolling and right there along with Buffalo in the NSL standings. A veteran group who knows how to win in a deep Region 12C.

Delano Athletics — It’s been an up-and-down season for the A’s so far but they are still a force to be reckoned with. Still looking to compete for the NSL regular season title and No. 1 seed in Region 12C, the talent is too good on this team not to be ready to make another deep postseason run.

Class C rankings (as of July 17)(Pts)(Previous)

Jordan Brewers (38)(2)

Buckman Billygoats (30)(1)

Bird Island Bullfrogs (27)(T3)

New Ulm Brewers (21)(T6)

Watertown Red Devils (20)(T3)

Young America Cardinals (20)(8)

Nisswa Lightning (18)(10)

Hutchinson Huskies (17)(NR)

Waconia Lakers (6)(NR)

Buffalo Bulldogs (4)(NR)

St. Martin Martins (4)(9)

Webster Sox (4)(T6)

Also receiving votes: Luverne Redbirds, Raymond Rockets, Delano Athletics, Kimball Express, New Prague Orioles, Avon Lakers, Bemidji Blue Ox, Leavenworth Orioles, Isanti Redbirds, Courtland Cubs, Waterville Indians, Jackson Bulls and Red Wing Aces.

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scott.wallner1

Flames 8, Lake Henry 4

Ethan Navratil’s two-run homer in the fourth sparked Farming to an 8-4 win over visiting Lake Henry on Friday night.  Ethan and Isaac Nett scored a couple of runs each, and Cody Fourre had a clutch two-out single in the fourth, scoring Adam Winkels and Robert Schleper.

Adam Nibaur had another nice outing, going the first eight innings, allowing four runs on seven hits.  The only troublesome inning was the fourth, when Lake Henry pushed across three.  Ethan Navratil pitched the ninth.  The Flames played a strong game in the field, with no errors committed and several nice plays being made by both outfield and infield.  

Lake Henry   000 310 000 4-9-3

Farming         204 200 00x 8-9-0

The win moves Farming to 8-4 on the season, currently in second-place in the SCL-South.  We now know that we’ll play Richmond in the first round of the playoffs next weekend sometime.  On Sunday, we travel to Lake Henry for a rematch with the Lakers, starting at 1:30pm.  If Farming wins, we’d finish second in the division and would host Richmond.  

We’ll post an updated playoff schedule after Sunday’s ballgames.

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Nick Gerhardt

DuraEdge to host ‘On the Field’ Night with St. Paul Saints July 27-28

DuraEdge Products, the Official Playing Surface of MiLB and proud sponsor of the Minnesota Baseball Association, is hosting exclusive MiLB ballpark events for leaders in Saint Paul’s baseball and softball communities July 27-28 at CHS Field in St. Paul.

You and a guest could join DuraEdge on the field for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at how the St. Paul Saints Grounds Crew prep the field before game time.

DuraEdge Field Experts (including former MLB Groundskeepers!) will be on hand to answer questions about proper maintenance techniques for your infield, field renovation options and provide hands-on product Q&A.

And then, stay to watch the game in a VIP MiLB suite!

You can reserve your spot by visiting: https://duraedge.com/milb-events/

Those who register for the July 27 event can arrive by 5:30 p.m. for a behind-the-scenes tour. The game will against the Omaha Storm Chasers will begin at 6:37 p.m. Those interested in attending the July 28 event can arrive at 1 p.m. for a behind-the-scenes tour. The game against the Omaha Storm Chasers will begin at 2:08 p.m.

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Nick Gerhardt

2024 MBA Field of the Year Voting

The MBA and corporate sponsor, DuraEdge, announce that voting has officially opened for the Minnesota Town Ball Field of the Year awards for both the Class B and Class C ballfields around the state. Coaches, players and fans are encouraged once again to vote for their favorite field. Voting will be open until 11:59 p.m., Aug. 2, 2024. This year’s winners will be announced after the championship games for each class on Labor Day weekend. Only one vote is allowed per email address. Click the link below to place your vote!  IMPORTANT!!! In order for your vote to count, be sure to reply to the confirmation email that is sent during the voting process. Good luck to all of the great ballfields in the MBA!

Link to Voting:

MN Town Ball Field of the Year Voting

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Nick Gerhardt

Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame announces six inductees

The Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its Class of 2024. This year’s Class of Hall of Famers will include: Lon Berberich from Le Sueur, Carl Lieser from St. Martin, Bob Meiners from Eitzen, Brent Meyer (deceased) from Belle Plaine, Doug Radloff of Essig and Dick Jonckowski from Shakopee will be recognized as an honorary Hall of Famer.

These men are being recognized for their outstanding contribution to amateur baseball in their communities, with their play on the field, and continued contributions off the field.

The Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Board is also pleased to announce the late Robert G. Fritz (deceased) from Cologne will be honored for his life-long service to the game with the Glenn Carlson Distinguished Service Award. This award is given to individuals whose work, actions and continued promotion have brought outstanding positive recognition to Minnesota Amateur Baseball in their community.

The induction banquet will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud – the home of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. Social Hour will begin at 3 pm with dinner to follow at 5:30 pm.

Tickets and information for the banquet can be found online at www.mnamateurbaseballhof.com/banquet.

Tickets must be ordered by Sept. 1. NO tickets will be sold on the day of the banquet.

For more information, please contact John George, Hall of Fame Secretary, at 218-298-0434 or email mnbaseballhof@gmail.com, or check out our website at www.mnbaseballhof.com or www.mnamateurbaseballhof.com.

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Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame seeks nominations

Baseball season is here, and NOW is the time to nominate your local legend of the diamond to be inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.  Nominations are now being accepted for Hall of Famers and our Glenn Carlson Distinguished Service Award.
Do you know someone who dominated while playing ball for their hometown?  Maybe you know someone who has sold tickets, mowed grass or did fundraising for the local club?  Maybe it’s a coach who has been involved with every aspect of the game in your town for as long as you can remember.
Well, we want to honor those people.
Information on how to submit a nomination can be found online at www.mnbaseballhof.com, or you can contact Hall of Fame Museum Director, John George, at MNBaseballHOF@gmail.com or 218-298-0434. 
Nominations will be accepted through June 1, 2024.  All nominees that are chosen for induction into the Hall of Fame will be celebrated at our Annual Banquet on Sept. 21, 2024, at Rivers Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, where the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Museum is located.

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Flames 8, Greenwald 1

Farming picks up a nice win at Greenwald Cubs Baseball on Sunday afternoon by a score of 8-1.

Isaac Nett went 3-for-4 with a homerun and a double, with two runs scored and four RBIs. Isaac also had a real hustle play in the fifth inning, scoring from second when Robert Schleper hit into a fielder’s choice.

Josh Becker went 2-for-3 with a double, and Will Mergen went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Ethan Navratil, Isaac Evenson, and Drew Lehner scored the other Farming runs.

Adam Winkels took the bump and went the first five innings and got the win, allowing a run on three hits while striking out 10. Breyden Einyck went four solid innings in relief to get the save, allowing no runs on one hit, while striking out a couple.

The Flames improve to 7-4 in the SCL-South and are currently in second place, a 1/2 game ahead of Richmond Royals Baseball Team.

Next weekend, Farming will conclude the regular season with a couple of games against Lake Henry. We host the Lakers on Friday night, 8:30pm, and travel to Lake Henry on Sunday, 1:30pm.

Josh 2-for-3 with a double

 

Adam Winkels got the win by going the first five innings, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out 10.  Breyden Einyck pitched the last four innings for the save, allowing no runs on just one hit, while striking out two.

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Nick Gerhardt

Class C rankings: Top 5 gets a shuffle as Delano drops early games

By Nick Gerhardt

nickgerhardt@mnbaseball.org

Rankings at this time of year often prove topsy-turvy and we saw that going on in our newest poll.

Buckman owns the No. 1 spot outright this time after sharing it with Delano. The Athletics already have as many losses as last season. Last year, their third loss of the season came in the state tournament quarterfinals. Delano slid to No. 5 in this poll but will remain a contender.

Perennial top-10 team Jordan grabbed the No. 2 ranking after holding down the No. spot in the previous poll. Last year’s runner-up and previous No. 1 team, Bird Island, stood pat at No. 3. This time the Bullfrogs check in at No. 3 and share the spot with Watertown, another high riser. The Red Devils sat at No. 6 in the last poll.

Two teams share the No. 6 ranking. Pollster darlings New Ulm and Webster each moved up from their previous spots to the No. 6 position. 

Young America, which has returned to Class C this season, made the top 10 at No. 8 this round. St. Martin moved up a spot to No. 9 and Nisswa slipped to No. 10 after claiming the eighth spot last time. 

Tom Elliott — West Central Tribune

Buckman Billygoats (12-0) — Buckman’s making a strong case for being one of the top teams in the state again with its perfect record in the rugged Victory League.
St. Martin Martins (9-1) — St. Martin’s the last one-loss team in the Stearns County League.
Bird Island Bullfrogs (6-1) — Bird Island’s at the top of the Corn Belt League standings.
Avon Lakers (9-1)  — Avon’s one of the top teams in the Victory League and is currently on top of the South Division. Another Victory League team to watch include the Nisswa Lightning.
Watertown Red Devils (9-1) — Is this the best team in the Crow River Valley League? Waconia, Young America, Plato and Brownton will have something to say about that.
New Ulm Brewers (7-0) — New Ulm’s gotten through the Tomahawk East undefeated so far, no easy feat. A lot of the baseball parks in this part of the state are taking a beating because of all the rain. Cross your fingers that the poor weather backs off.
Webster Sox (5-1) — Webster looks like one of the teams to beat in the Dakota-Rice-Scott League.
Loretto Larks (6-1) — Loretto is right there at the top of the North Star League standings with the Hutchinson Huskies and Buffalo Bullfrogs.
Sartell Muskies (5-2) — The Muskies are 8-3 overall and coming off a big win over Sauk Valley League rival St. Joseph.
Atwater Chuckers — Atwater is one of the top teams in the County Line League and coming off a championship in the Roscoe Tournament.

Kip Kovar — Herald Journal

Bird Island Bullfrogs – The Bullfrogs continue to play well. They had one setback with a loss to Marshall but responded immediately by picking up a bounce-back win over Milroy. Bird Island is an experienced group with a lot of talent. It will be fun to see if it can repeat last year’s state tournament appearance and make another deep run.
Buckman Billygoats — The Billygoats have shown no signs of slowing down this season. With a perfect record thus far in league play, Buckman appears to be finding its groove early on.
Young America Cardinals — A loss to the Carver Black Sox earlier this season has been forgiven by me. The Cardinals have responded well since that loss including a convincing win over Watertown and followed that up with a big win this past weekend against Plato. Ace Josh Lenz is back and better than ever. If Young America cleans a few things up, it won’t be long until its set to make another deep postseason run in its first year back in Class C.
Jordan Brewers — A perfect 14-0 on the season shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The Brewers are once again loaded and ready to make one last deep run in the state tournament before things change. Jordan has a recent win over Waconia and has a tough weekend upcoming with matchups with Delano, Cold Spring, and Bird Island at their own Charlie Larca Memorial Invitational.
Delano Athletics — It’s been a tough week and change for the A’s with losses to Watertown, Buffalo and Loretto. Despite all that, there’s no reason to panic. Delano is still one of the top teams in the state. The A’s added some pitching depth recently. Once the bats heat up, the A’s remain one of the best teams in the state.
Webster Sox — The Sox might have had more rainouts than games thus far this season but it’s hard to argue with what they’ve done when given the chance. Webster is a young and talented team that will be fun to watch down the stretch. With a ton of games to play to close out the regular, depth will play a key factor.
Watertown Red Devils — Like the Webster Sox, the Red Devils have been plagued by postponements. If there’s any team that can handle a loaded schedule to close out the year, it is Watertown. The Red Devils still boast one of the deepest pitching staffs in the state and find themselves in the mix in the Crow River Valley League.
New Ulm Brewers — A perfect 7-0 in Tomahawk East League. New Ulm looks to be the team to beat in Region 2C again this year as it looks for its fourth-straight league title.
Nisswa Lightning — Nisswa has won four straight after suffering back-to-back losses. The Lightning started to figure things out again, boasting a powerful lineup.
Hutchinson Huskies — The Huskies have quietly moved into the top spot in the North Star League standings alongside Buffalo. Hutchinson is a perennially top 10 team and will be a team to keep an eye on again this season.

Chad Knutson — Heron Lake Lakers

Watertown Red Devils — 15-1, only loss to Young America, team to beat in the tough Crow, with Waconia, Plato and Brownton all playing well.
Jordan Brewers — Undefeated 14-0, big three-game stretch with Delano, Cold Spring Springers and Bird Island coming up
Buckman Billygoats — 12-0, best team in the Victory right now, with Avon, Nisswa and Foley pushing them.
New Ulm Brewers — 13-1, lead the Tomahawk, Courtland, Leavenworth and Lamberton in the hunt.
Delano Athletics — 8-3, only losses to Watertown, Buffalo and Loretto, Hutch and Buffalo are also very good in the North Star
Young America Cardinals — Back in class C. Lost to Carver early, but have beaten Watertown and Plato.
Maple Lake Lakers — Defending Champs are still playing well, with 11 wins and have a tough remaining schedule to get them ready to potentially make another run.
Luverne Redbirds — 9-1 best and deepest pitching staff in the First Nite/Gopher, Windom, Jackson, Fairmont on the First NIte side contending, and Milroy Irish and Hadley Buttermakers from the Gopher, all will make it hard for the Redbirds to repeats as region champs.
St. Martin Martins — 10 wins and on top of the Stearns County League. Richmond, Spring Hill and Greenwald all playing well.
Webster Sox — Top young team in the DRS, many big games coming in July, with New Prague and Union Hill being two of them.

Honorable Mention: Bird Island Bullfrogs, Plato Blue Jays, Avon Lakers, Courtland Cubs,  Foley Jacks, Cold Spring Rockies, New Prague Orioles, Atwater Chuckers, Nisswa Lightning, Waconia Lakers, Bemidji Blue Ox, Hutchinson Huskies Clearwater Rivercats, Kimball Express, Brownton Bruins, Jackson Bulls, Princeton Panthers, Morris Eagles, Fergus Falls Canes, Windom Pirates, Regal Eagles, Red Wing Aces, Union Hill Bulldogs, New York Mills Millers, Leavenworth Orioles

Aaron Worm — Mankato

Buckman Billygoats
Jordan Brewers
Nisswa Lightning
Delano Athletics
Webster Sox
Bird Island Bullfrogs
Maple Lake Lakers
Watertown Red Devils
Young America Cardinals
New Ulm Brewers

Class C rankings (as of June 27)(Pts)(Previous)

1. Buckman Billygoats (37)(T1)

2. Jordan Brewers (25)(5)

3. Bird Island Bullfrogs (23)(6)

3. Watertown Red Devils (23)(6)

5. Delano Athletics (19)(T1)

6. New Ulm Brewers (16)(9)

6. Webster Sox (16)(7)

8. Young America Cardinals (15)(NR)

9. St. Martin Martins (11)(10)

10. Nisswa Lightning (10)(8)

 

Also receiving votes: Avon Lakers, Maple Lake Lakers, Loretto Larks, Luverne Redbirds, Sartell Muskies, Atwater Chuckers, Hutchinson Huskies, Plato Blue Jays, Courtland Cubs,  Foley Lumberjacks, Cold Spring Rockies, New Prague Orioles, Waconia Lakers, Bemidji Blue Ox, Clearwater Rivercats, Kimball Express, Brownton Bruins, Jackson Bulls, Princeton Panthers, Morris Eagles, Fergus Falls Hurricanes, Windom Pirates, Regal Eagles, Red Wing Aces, Union Hill Bulldogs, New York Mills Millers, Leavenworth Orioles

 

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Nick Gerhardt

Class B rankings: Miesville moves up, fresh faces garner attention​

By Nick Gerhardtnickgerhardt@mnbaseball.org

We’ve got some major shakeups in our latest rankings as our pollsters have tried to navigate the field. Between rain and posting scores (team’s please post your scores to help the world follow your season!) it’s been tough to sort things out.

What became clear is that there’s a new No. 1 in this poll as last year’s champion, Air Freight Unlimited, plummeted down the list. That made room for Miesville to snatch the top spot after receiving three first-place votes.

Lyon’s Pub moved up a couple of spots to claim the No. 2 ranking and Burnsville continued its climb, all the way to the No. 3 ranking. The Bobcats share the spot with Minnetonka, which rose three slots in this poll.

Elsewhere, Stockmen’s Irish dropped to No. 5 and Shakopee grabbed the No. 6 ranking after coming in at No. 4 in the previous poll.

The aforementioned Air Freight Unlimited moved down to No. 7 after only playing five games thus far. That will likely change in the next poll. The Cold Spring Springers moved up to No. 8 from No. 9 last time and Victoria entered the top 10 at No. 9 after a flawless start. Anoka claimed the No. 10 spot, moving down from No. 8 in the last rankings. Meanwhile, we have several more teams on the radar, like the St. Paul Mudhens and Shoreview Stump Grinders. Then again, we’ll have to wait until August to see how it all gets sorted out.

Nat Croaker — Northwest Orioles

Miesville Mudhens
Air Freight Unlimited
Lyon’s Pub Warriors
Stockmen’s Irish
Burnsville Bobcats
Anoka Bucs
Shakopee Indians
Minnetonka Monarchs
Baseball 365
Rochester Royals

Honorable mention: Shoreview Stump Grinders

Jordan Wiggins — St. Anthony HogsBetween a lack of score entries and two weeks of constant rain, it’s hard to sift through the few games most teams have played/submitted to get a good idea at a true top 10. I typically have a good idea of the landscape of Class B based on Twitter but this is the first time I’ve had to do a more thorough deep dive of the MBA website.

Based on the aforementioned lack of score submissions and actual lack of games played due to Mother Nature, here is my best stab at an accurate look at the Class B top 10 and, for fun, I’m going to go in reverse order.

(Before diving into the rankings, a quick shout out to the baseball communities who are greatly impacted by the flooding recently. Seeing the cities of Chaska and Dundas, to name a few, come together and do their best to salvage their ballparks is super cool and is a small glimpse into how strong a lot of our communities are. Hats off and best of luck to those in affected areas.)

10. Champlin Park Logators — Undefeated in Metro Minny play makes you an automatic bid for my top 10. But they’ve lost almost all other non-league games. We will find out which one of these polar opposites shines the truest in the next month.
9. North St. Paul Snowmen — This team is legit. Really talented arms and a strong lineup top to bottom. Having a squad of college kids is a blessing and a curse depending on Northwoods League phone calls and leaving early for college but these guys have the talent to beat anyone on any night. And they have awesome new uniforms. 
8. Cold Spring Springers — No results on the MBA page should probably dock the Springers a few spots but I trust the consistent success these guys have had, enough for me to have them here. 
7. Minneapolis Mudcats — These guys have been a really solid, young team the last few years and it seems like they finally have all the needed pieces for success. A battle with Lyon’s Pub for the top spot in the Park National will show how serious they are at this point.
6. Shakopee Indians — A staff of good arms and a potent lineup that plays clean baseball. Wins over Minneapolis Mudcats, Lyon’s Pub, Chaska and Minneapolis Cobras is as strong of a resume as there is. This is a really tough team to beat for nine innings, as they showed last August. 
5. Air Freight Unlimited — Tom Kolar just doesn’t like baseball enough to play any tune-up games and prefers to roll his squad into St. Paul League play with cobwebs hanging from their jerseys. Glad he’s had plenty of time to study for his CPA exam … I’m probably letting some early season (It’s late June?) losses distract me but I’m here to make the reigning champs earn their spot back at the top of my rankings. Stay tuned for July rankings on these guys. 
4. Minnetonka Monarchs — No Millers? No problem. Beating the brakes off teams it seems like with wins over Champlin Park and Plymouth HitDawg early on. Can the Monarchs keep flying into the late summer? 
3. Miesville Mudhens — A lot of good wins based on the short list online (Champlin Park, Northfield twice, and St. Patrick to name a few). Perennially a top dog in Class B and they’re backing up the name so far this year.
2. Stockmen’s Irish — Often toward the top of the rankings but I’m not sure they’ve ever come in at the top. They’re very close to being there at this point. I’m not sure what happened in their game versus Lyon’s Pub but I’m letting that game be the separator here. They have two good, top-end arms in Ryan Duffy and Luke Siegle and they added a left-handed bat in PJ Jones, who might be scarier than Brodie Paulsen. 
1. Lyon’s Pub Warriors — Really good season going with wins over Stockmen’s (the Irish’s only loss) and Champlin Park. Really good arms paired with a lineup that will be able to put up more runs this year. Undefeated in league play heading into a matchup with Minneapolis MudCats (result should be out now) and I see them staying on a tear into July.

Nate Jackson — Lyon’s Pub Warriors

Burnsville Bobcats
Miesville Mudhens
Cold Spring Springers
Minnetonka Monarchs
Shakopee Indians
Victoria Vics
Anoka Bucs
Elko Express
Moorhead Brewers
Lyon’s Pub Warriors

Honorable Mention: Champlin Park LoGators, Air Freight Unlimited, Minneapolis MudCats, Minneapolis Cobras, Stockmen’s Irish, St. Paul Mudhens

Aldon Severson — Northfield Knights

Miesville Mudhens (11-1)
Burnsville Bobcats (12-0)
Lyon’s Pub Warriors (14-4)
Stockmen’s Irish (8-1)
Minnetonka Monarchs (10-3)
Shoreview Stump Grinders (13-3)
Anoka Bucs (11-3)
Shakopee Indians (8-2)
Victoria Vics (10-0)
Rochester Royals (8-2)

Honorable Mention: Air Freight Unlimited (3-2), Baseball 365 (10-5), Elko Express (13-5), Moorhead Brewers (7-1), St. Paul Mudhens (7-0)

Matt Marek — Champlin Park LoGatorsAs the season nears its halfway point, I started to look at bodies of work, and moving past perceived and actual talent. Some teams that you would normally expect to see in the rankings, or even in the honorable mentions, might be absent, but it’s starting to be put-up or shut-up time. With that being said, Class B is looking more and more wide open as we progress through the 2024 season.

1. Miesville Mudhens (11-1) — I would argue that the Hens are the best hitting team in the state. I think their title hopes will hinge on what they can get out of some of the younger power arms they signed this year, and if they can step up. Might not matter if they are putting up 10 runs a game, however …
2. Burnsville Bobcats (12-0) — Can I say I told ya so? Wins over Shakopee, Moorhead and Anoka after a soft early schedule should have you convinced.
3. Stockmen’s Irish (8-1) — I hope you have a solid left-handed arm in your rotation …
4. Rochester Royals (8-2) — I’m really looking forward to the matchups with Miesville coming up. Losing Matt Meyer maybe takes them out of the prohibitive favorite category, but the Matteo Finocchi-Gabe Pilla 1-2 is pretty tough to beat.
5. Lyon’s Pub Warriors (15-6) — Quality teams on the slate from B-C and wins to boot. Looking good with recent wins over the Cobras and Stockmen’s.
6. Minnetonka Monarchs (10-3) — Not much to see here. Same stacked lineup, Wyatt Nelson chucking full-time, and Sam Schlecht back in the mix? Sounds like a recipe for a lot of success.
7. Shakopee Indians (8-2) — Apologies for leaving the Tribe out of the last rankings and mentions. Schleper’s boys are still riding high after last year’s runner-up finish. Nice wins over the MudCats, Chaska, and the Pub, and you really gotta like that Ryan Boldt signing.
8. St. Paul Mudhens (7-0) — Can’t ignore a perfect start (with wins over Air Freight and River Falls). They should be in the mix come August, but I think the team makeup might prevent a deep run. Sidebar, any reason you wouldn’t start a Missouri-commit game one of the state tournament if you had him available?
9. Air Freight Unlimited (3-2) — The season is young for the perpetually late-starting Planes. The loss to Rosetown is a little eyebrow raising, but due to the lack of publicity I imagine that was a Kellen Rholl-Laubscher matchup?
10. Victoria (10-0) — About as quiet of a 10-0 start as you can imagine, but the Vics have wins over Baseball 365, Lyons Pub, and a pretty solid Chaska club to start the year.
10. Elko (13-5) — Nice wins over Rochester and Baseball 365 this year to prove they belong in the rankings. Let’s just move past that first Miesville game, however.

Honorable Mention: Anoka Bucs (13-3), Baseball 365 (10-5), Cold Spring Springers (9-4), Moorhead Brewers (7-1)

Tom Kolar — Air Freight Unlimited

1. Lyon’s Pub Warriors

2. Stockmen’s Irish

3. Miesville Mudhens

4. Shakopee Indians

5. Minnetonka Monarchs

6. Burnsville Bobcats

7. St. Paul Mudhens

8. Air Freight Unlimited

9. Cold Spring Springers

10. Anoka Bucs

Jon Sands — Victoria Vics

1. Air Freight Unlimited

2. Miesville Mudhens

3. Minnetonka Monarchs

4. Victoria Vics

5. Shakopee Indians

6. Cold Spring Springers

7. St. Louis Park Pirates

8. Burnsville Bobcats

9. Elko Express

10. Moorhead Brewers

Class B rankings (as of June 27)(Pts)(Previous)

1. Miesville Mudhens (64)(2)

2. Lyon’s Pub Warriors (43)(4)

3. Burnsville Bobcats (42)(7)

4. Minnetonka Monarchs (42)(6)

5. Stockmen’s Irish (40)(3)

6. Shakopee Indians (35)(4)

7. Air Freight Unlimited (30)(1)

8. Cold Spring Springers (18)(9)

9. Victoria Vics (15)(NR)

10. Anoka Bucs (14)(8)

Also receiving votes: Baseball 365, Rochester Royals, Champlin Park LoGators, North St. Paul Snowmen, Minneapolis Mudcats, Elko Express, Moorhead Brewers, Shoreview Stump Grinders, St. Paul Mudhens, St. Louis Park Pirates, Minneapolis Cobra

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scott.wallner1

Flames 2, Richmond 1

Farming manufactured a run in the bottom of the 7th inning to defeat Richmond 2-1 in the annual Hall of Fame Game, on a beautiful Father’s Day afternoon in Farming.

The Flames rally started with a walk to Adam Winkels.  Robert Schleper proceeded to lay down a perfect sacrifice bunt, which he beat out for a hit.  Adam took third on the play when nobody covered the base.  Josh Becker followed with another perfect bunt, where the pitcher’s only play was to first base, allowing Adam to score the game winner.

Adam Nibaur went all nine innings for Farming, pitching one of the finest outings he’s had in a Flames uniform.

Farming now stands at 5-3 in the SCL, and just a half-game behind second-place Richmond.  We host Lake Henry this coming Friday night, 8:00pm.

RI 000 001 000 1-6-3

FA 000 010 10X 2-5-0

After the ballgame, manager Dale Schroeder was inducted into the Farming Baseball Hall of Fame.  Dale played for Farming in the 1990’s and 2000’s, and has served as manager for the longest continuous stint (14 season) in the history of the Farming ballclub (which dates back to 1938).  Congratulations to Dale!!

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scott.wallner1

Flames 10, Meire Grove 5

After spotting the visiting Grovers three runs in the top of the first, the Flames roared back with nine consecutive runs on their way to a 10-5 victory on Friday night.

Isaac Nett was 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI’s, while Will Mergen was 3-for-5 with two doubles, one RBI and three runs scored.  Ethan Navratil was 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Tylor Schroeder finished 2-for-4.  Robert Schleper added an RBI double.

Ethan took the bump and went the distance for Farming, giving up eight hits.  He was helped defensively by a leaping grab of a liner by Braden Einyck, and by a diving grab of a foul popup in front of the home dugout by Josh Becker.

The Flames move to 4-3 on the season and are in third place in the SCL South.  Next up, second-place Richmond comes to town on Sunday for the Hall of Fame Game, where manager Dale Schroeder will be inducted.  First pitch is 1:30pm.

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Nick Gerhardt

DuraEdge to host ‘On the Field’ events at CHS Field in St. Paul

As summer begins, the ballfields of Minnesota are heating up with town ball action. DuraEdge hopes your infields are faring well so far this season. If not, we have solutions for you. 

We want to alert you to two different DuraEdge sponsored events specifically for the Minnesota Baseball Association coming up in July. First, we will again open up voting for the month of July for players, coaches and fans to place their votes as to which fields will win the coveted Field of the Year brag banners for the 2024 season. Winners will be announced at the end of season tournaments.

Saint Paul Saints vs Omaha Storm Chasers

Saturday night, July 27 and Sunday afternoon July 28

Later in July, DuraEdge will host two “On The Field” events in partnership with Minor League Baseball.  DuraEdge is now the Official Infield Surface of Minor League Baseball. Part of that partnership with MiLB involves educating organizations about solutions to improve ballfield performance. Interested MBA teams can register up to two people as guests of DuraEdge. It’s free to attend (except maybe parking).  Participants will be allowed to go down onto the field prior to the game to watch pregame prep, learn from the head groundskeeper about the products they use and why, and pick up useful tips for maintaining infields. Afterward, you’ll be entertained in a private suite during the ballgame. DuraEdge representatives, which will include one or more former MLB head groundskeepers, will be on hand and available to discuss your field issues and products that DuraEdge has available to help improve your infield playing surface. Make your plans to come and enjoy some Minor League Baseball and talk to some of the best experts in the ballfield industry. Let’s work together to give your players the best playing surface in the MBA!  Email Paul Zwaska @ pzwaska@duraedge.com if you would like to send some representatives of your team to one of the two gameday events.  Space is limited, so lock in your reservation before space runs out!

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Nick Gerhardt

TOURNEY TIME: The drive for baseball and fun

By Nick Gerhardt

nickgerhardt@mnbaseball.org

Beyond the outfield fence at Schleper Brothers Field in Farming sprouts a small community each year. If there wasn’t a baseball field, you’d rub your eyes and think it’s a campsite. Instead it’s just the annual Farming Baseball Invitational, an eight-team tournament held at the historic field with generous accommodations. 

This year’s tournament featured neighbors Cold Spring, St. Joseph, Pearl Lake, Sauk Centre, Sartell Stone Poneys and some out-of-towners who took up residence for the weekend. Twenty-three players from Jordan made the trek to Farming in Stearns County, plus several friends and girlfriends. Their campsite neighbors drove up from Andover. 

The Aces took part in the tournament for the second time this year and already it’s the most anticipated tournament of the year. 

“You look and nobody’s on their phones,” Andover manager Sam Plohasz said. “Everyone is sitting around chatting, listening to music, watching baseball. We visit the other campsites and meet guys from other cities.”

Camping is a loose definition. Some arrived in RVs, others hauled ice castles. The less extravagant settled for tents or pop-up ice houses while the no-frills bunch slept in vehicles or truck beds. 

The out-of-towners appreciate the tournament environment and hospitality. 

“What time was the last Snap last night?” Plohasz asked.

“5:30 in the morning,” a teammate replied.

Andover played at noon on Saturday so the Aces that watched the sun rise still got a good 5 ½ hours of rest before their game. 

The outfield scene outdoes anything the bleacher bums at Wrigley Field in Chicago do. Think you’ve heard some good digs at an MLB park? You haven’t heard the taunts in center field at Schleper Brothers Field in Farming. Even the Flames players set up chairs in center field to chide opponents when they didn’t have a game. 

Fields like the one in Farming have a certain allure for metro teams, like Jordan and Andover. The Aces won’t play any of the teams in the tournament unless they meet the Cold Spring Springers in the state tournament. Jordan might have the opportunity to scout some potential state tournament foes. But that seems a distant secondary purpose of the trip. 

“I have to imagine there aren’t a lot of tournaments that give you a free camping site, which to us is huge,” Jordan veteran Steve Beckman said. “We don’t want to go somewhere where we have to get hotel rooms. We want to go somewhere where we’re right at the field. Some guys will walk to the bar after, but some guys will watch nine games over the course of the weekend. Someone like me, who’s a bit obsessed with it, that is a big draw for me to be right on site. … I feel like there are six or seven teams where I can feel like I know something. Sauk Centre for example, we faced one of their draftees last year in the state tournament. Having some knowledge of them is kind of a help. Whatever you can do to add knowledge helps. Obviously when you’re here the priority is fun in a different environment.”

Paul “Gilly” Buss has played with Jordan since the early 1980s when tournaments started to take hold across the state. The type of camping taking place in Farming is a far cry from what he first experienced.

“Slept in the bleachers, or wherever we could find a spot,” Buss said. “No tents, no sleeping bags. I remember one time in New Ulm, they had some fest going on down there … the fest closed down and we had no place to stay so we stayed in some guy’s backyard. When he woke up in the morning all he seen was 17 ballplayers laying in the back of his yard and he’s going to work. He didn’t say anything, he just walked by.”

Buss, the recognizable Brewers player with the long beard, opted to sleep in his vehicle for the Farming tournament. Some of his teammates arrived as early as Thursday night. Even after more than 40 years in amateur baseball, Farming presented a first for Buss.

“This is amazing to me,” Buss said. “You’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s beautiful. It’s a very nice park.”

Those in Farming go out of their way to make the teams feel comfortable. They left the field lights on late into the next day for the campers.

“They lean into it as a baseball tournament and a party at the same time,” Plohasz said. “Letting us leave our cars here, our tents here, it’s been awesome. They do a really good job of making it easy for everyone.”

It’s a symbiotic relationship between host and participants. The host benefits from the revenue the tournament generates, both from tournament fees and, more importantly, the ability to run concessions all day. 

If you haven’t caught a game in Farming, it’s almost the quintessential Minnesota amateur baseball park. If you drive west toward the park, you won’t see it until nearly the last minute. A row of coniferous trees shields the view of the park until you’re almost at the parking lot. Once there, good luck finding a spot. Many cars line the county road for parking while youngsters search the sprouting corn fields for foul balls and the chance of $0.50 for their effort. 

Jordan claimed the Farming tournament title for the second straight year. The Brewers defeated Sauk Centre 11-0 in the championship game after defeating Andover 6-2 and St. Joseph in earlier games. 

Across the state you’ll see similar situations with tournaments. In Arlington, Leavenworth made the drive up from Southwestern Minnesota. They sat around in collapsable chairs in a circle following their game against the A’s Friday. The Orioles players retired to fish houses or ice castles to catch some Zs before resuming play the following day. 

The Prior Lake Jays won the Arlington Grain Belt Premium Light Invite by defeating the Prior Lake Mudcats 7-6. 

“This is the most fun weekend we have as a team in June,” Plohasz said. “It’s cool to see the young guys learn about a small town, like Farming. They have such a cool field and they can host something like this. … Smaller towns do townball better than anybody else. That’s kind of cool to see.”

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