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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Farming Flames

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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