Class B Rankings: August 2 Edition

–by Brett Kruschke

The Moorhead Brewers have made quite a statement since finishing runner-up to the Dundas Dukes last year in Class B. The Brewers were likewise second in the first two Class B pollls this season and with this last one upon us, it’s their fifth straight ranking at the top — not an easy thing to do among such a talent-laden lot. Their record is a gaudy 26-1. 

The real deal begins for Class B on Aug. 20 at the state tournament, but until then, here’s the final poll rankings of the season: 

AARON OLSON – Shakopee

1. Moorhead (26-1) Still at the top with only one loss. Don’t see them losing going into State …

2. Miesville (25-4) Won a very good Section and will be ready to head into playoffs.

3. Chaska (22-9) On a run now, only losing once in July.  No. 1 seed in Section 3 and have a nice shot at making State.

4. Blaine (31-8) First team to qualify for State with only three teams in Section. Will be ready to make a run.

5. Cold Spring (27-8) First seed in Section and should be ready to get to State again.

6. Dundas (24-8) Got a tough matchup with Elko to make it to State.

7. Shakopee (18-10) Looking to get healthy and ready to make a run.

8. Elko (27-11) See #6; should be a fun series.

9. Coon Rapids (21-13) Top seed in Section 2, should have big chance to make it to State.

10. Chanhassen (18-14) Best-of-five series with Shakopee will determine their fate.

On the edge: Forest Lake, Eagan, Rochester, Savage

JAMIE HEIPEL – Blaine

1 ) Moorhead –  ( 26-1 ) They have been my top team all year, nothing that has happened changes my mind. Title will need to go through them, in my mind.

2 ) Miesville – ( 25-4 ) Been strong all season, won a very tough section in regular season play. Might play in best section top to bottom.

3 ) Blaine – ( 31-8 ) Won a very tough league by three games. Lost one game in the month of July.

4 ) Cold Spring – ( 27-8 ) Rounding out the season on fire, something they do regularly this time of the year.

5 ) Chaska – ( 22-9 ) Lost one game of 12 played for the month of July. Will be interesting to see how they play away from home consistently against quality opponents; they are 4-4 on the road all season.

6 ) Dundas – ( 24-8 ) Couple losses of late to C teams Bird Island & Hampton moves them down this far.

7 ) Shakopee – ( 18- 10 ) Another time of year squad, they have not gotten a really good streak this year as of yet. This team will match up with anyone come win or go home game.

8 ) Elko – ( 27-11 ) Probably too low for this group. Tough schedule all year, great manager that will have them ready when they face off against defending State Champs in series that will be win-or-go-home.

9 ) Rochester – ( 14-9 ) Playing solid baseball latter part of season, well under the radar but some nice wins. Couple quality pitchers will make them dangerous with whoever they match up with when they qualify for State.

10 ) Coon Rapids – ( 21-13 ) Recovered nicely from a couple weeks of non-“Redbird Baseball.” Their schedule has been as difficult as anyone has played – that means little room for error and the losses can pile up. Nobody should be begging for a matchup with them in Litchfield.

ERIC KRAUSHAR – Chaska/Chanhassen

1. Moorhead Brewers (26-1) – three consecutive shutouts; the team to beat in Class B.

2. Miesville Mudhens (25-4) – suffered first loss since June 8 in 6-3 defeat to Elko, but is the top seed in a solid Section 1, which has four teams in the rankings.

3. Blaine Fusion (31-8) – the first team in the state tournament; three-team section, the Fusion are the No. 1 seed and are automatically in.

4. Chaska Cubs (22-9) – have won 12 of last 13 games, and final 10 games against Section 3 opponents, to grab top seed.

5. Cold Spring Springers (27-7) – getting hot at the right time, winners of 11 of last 12. Chaska has H2H win.

6. Dundas Dukes (24-8) – outscored opponents 50-6 over the final five games, defeating Elko 8-2 for No. 2 seed and bye in Section 1B.

7. Elko Express (27-11) – scored a big win over Miesville, but remained in third place in Section 1 and will have to get past Hastings and Dundas to get to state.

8. Shakopee Indians (18-10) – played a good schedule this season, but a 4-4 stretch in July slides them down a bit.

9. Coon Rapids Redbirds (21-13) – won last four Metro Minny games, moving them into second place. Top seed in Section 2.

10. Northfield Knights (17-10) – no Brooklyn Park in playoffs, no top 10. No one responded to my tweet, no top 10. Northfield split with Miesville, Elko; beat Rochester.

Out: Chanhassen (18-14) – 4-7 in the month of July, No. 3 seed in Region 3; Forest Lake (18-11) – lost four of five down the stretch, fourth in Metro Minny

MATT MAREK – Champlin

1. Moorhead (25-1) – Still sporting the lone loss to Raymond. Expect it to stay that way until the state tournament. 

2. Miesville (25-4) – Lone loss since last poll came at the hands of Elko. Mudhens grab the ultra-important #1 seed in Section 1.
3. Blaine (31-8) – A fluky loss to a Brooklyn Park team since the last poll, and a come-from-behind win over us (Champlin) keeps them at No. 3. 
4. Cold Spring (28-7) – Getting hot for playoff time. Lost to a Milroy Yankees team getting votes in C poll. 

5. Chaska (22-9) – Speaking of hot teams, Chaska’s only losses since June 26 have come to St. Louis Park and Minnetonka. 

6. Dundas (24-8) – Tough to drop ’em, but the loss to Bird Island and Chaska’s hot streak have them at #6 this week. 

7. Elko (27-11) – Looks like a rematch from last year with an Elko-Dundas match-up to go to state. 
8. Shakopee (17-10) – Chaska’s surge put them in the 2-3 matchup vs. Chanhassen to go to state. I’ll take the veteran leadership for another state appearance for the Indians.
9. St. Michael (18-5) – Remember these guys? I think we had forgotten about the Saints due to a lack of self-promotion, but they’ve quietly put up another great season. 
10. Coon Rapids (21-13) – Really have turned it on the last couple of weeks. 6-0 over last two, and 9-3 in last 12 games. 

HM
Rochester (14-9) – Number #1 seed in Section 4. Really pummeled teams down the stretch.
Forest Lake (17-11) – Hit the skids the last couple weeks, with a 1-6 mark over last 7. Tough match-up with Isanti awaits. 
Chanhassen (18-14) – Lost three of last four games, all by two runs or less. 
Northfield (17-10) – I know I said one signature win away, but still can’t bring myself to get ’em in there. A win over Owatonna probably would’ve done it for me.
 

KELLY McMONAGLE – Moorhead

1.  Moorhead – takes the top seed into Section 6B tournament looking to get back to the state tournament

2.  Miesville – win streak broken by Elko last week but they take the #1 seed into Section 1B playoffs

3.  Blaine – Fusion have won 17 of 18 en route to the regular season championship in the tough Metro Minny League – they have already punched their ticket to state and await the winner of the Anoka/Champlin series for seeding in Section 5B

4.  Cold Spring – Springers are on a roll heading into Section 7B playoffs winning 12 of last 13 games; will face the winner of the Marshall/Brainerd play-in game

5.  Chaska – Cubs are on a 13-of-14 tear with lone loss in that span coming at the hands of the Minnetonka Millers; earned top seed in Section 3B and will open playoffs against winner of Victoria/Prior Lake

6.  Dundas – the defending Class B champs have put together a solid 2016 campaign earning the #2 seed in Section 1B; if everything goes to script, they are staring at a potential showdown with Elko for a state tournament berth

7.  Elko – their big win over Miesville was followed up by losses to Dundas and Northfield, which locks them into the #3 seed in Section 1B (see above)

8.  Shakopee – nailed down the #2 seed in Section 3B and will tangle with Chanhassen for the right to go to state

9.  Coon Rapids – Redbirds have turned it around after a tough stretch in the middle of the season; will get the winner of Andover/East Bethel for a spot in the state tourney

10.  Rochester – not really sure what the standings are in Section 4B, but would have to believe the Royals gotta be on top as they beat Eagan, Austin Blue Sox, and Savage twice – only falling to the Austin Greyhounds

Mention:  Northfield, St. Cloud, Forest Lake

CLASS B RANKINGS (as of August 2):

1. Moorhead Brewers (50 points)

2. Miesville Mudhens (45)

3. Blaine Fusion (39)

4. Chaska Cubs, Cold Spring Springers (33)

6. Dundas Dukes (25)

7. Elko Express (18)

8. Shakopee Indians (17)

9. Coon Rapids Redbirds (8)

10. Rochester Royals (3)

Others receiving votes: St. Michael Saints (2), Northfield Knights (1), Chanhassen Red Birds (1)

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