Class B rankings: Champlin Park climbs into the top 3

By Nick Gerhardt

Ed’s note: Three of the four rankings came in prior to St. Michael ousting Blaine from the Section 4 tournament.

Well as we head toward the state tournament, all but one state tournament spot is locked up and it’ll be a dogfight for that final tournament entry. Over in Section 1 Dundas, Hampton and Elko remain in contention for that final spot. Dundas and Hampton will need two wins to advance while Elko will get the winner of the Dundas-Hampton matchup. Oh, the drama.

With this round of rankings we saw a few significant changes as Champlin Park rose up to No. 3 after Blaine vacated the spot. Victoria and Chaska dropped out of the rankings, leaving room for Rochester and Burnsville to crack the top 10. Burnsville secured its first trip to the state tournament since 2014 with a runner-up finish in Section 3. 

But enough talk, let’s see what the experts thought. 

Kelly McMonagle — Moorhead Brewers

1. Chanhassen Red Birds — Hard to argue with reigning champs being No. 1. Similar cast and crew as in the past looking to further cement their place in town balk history as a dynasty.

2. Moorhead Brewers — Brewers have put together another solid season and have been playing well down the stretch. Took a close loss to Chan, is this the year they get over the hump? Or do they enjoy watching the Red Birds and Straka collect trophies.

3. Miesville Mudhens — Cream rises to the top and out of the brutal Section 1 they have emerged on top. A group that has seen their fair share of September baseball, they look to make a deep run.

4. Champlain Park LoGators — Proving to be more than the Riola show this team will take on anyone at anytime. Rumor is they took on a group of 12 year olds in a backyard wiffle ball game. Also very nice cream jerseys.

5. Burnsville Bobcats — Have not seen them play in person but their record and box scores suggest a team that may be around to make some noise for years to come.

6. Rochester Royals — Posses the starting pitching to keep them in a game against any team. Not a team to be overlooked come late August if they get rolling.

7. New Market Muskies — Seem to be a sleeper and less talked about around the state. Another one I have not had the privilege to see. However, talk at the water cooler is they have an offense capable of putting up big numbers and have racked up a few impressive wins.

8. Anoka Bucs — Having a team with 25 wins and 10 in section play at No. 8 feels like a crime. They play for the No. 1 seed out of Section 4 and hope to go Buc wild in the tournament.

9. Elko Express — They have three bats in the middle of their order that single handedly can win them a game. As I write this they still need a win to make it to state as a No. 4 seed but a tough No. 4 seed at that. Worth noting, they are known to travel fan-wise for state.

10. Victoria Vics — A young, spry bunch, you’ve got to think their legs are feeling fresh while some teams with more grey hair may be feeling the dog days. Quick travel to state, excited to watch these guys fly around.

Honorable mention: Moorhead Mudcats — After two seasons of close first-round losses I selfishly hope they can get a much-wanted state win and help the reputation of the Arrowhead West.  

Matt Marek — Champlin Park

1. Chanhassen Red Birds — The theme of these rankings will be ‘Who’s coming back from the Northwoods League (or other) for the playoffs?’ Mrosko and Livorsi back for the Birds? Time will tell. 

2. Moorhead Brewers — Ceded the Arrowhead West title to the Springers with a 2-1 loss, but are in prime position to make yet another long tournament run

3. Blaine Fusion — A loss to Andover down the stretch, but wins over Champlin, Anoka, and Miesville has the Fuson rolling. Ronnie Donley is GOOD. 

4. Miesville Mudhens — The Deryk Marks injury is looming large for the Hens, however, there’s enough talent in play to make opposing teams’ lives difficult. Summer League Return Watch: Aidan Maldonado and Ronnie Sweeney.

5. Champlin Park LoGators — Two tough losses to Blaine and Miesville down the stretch. Not quite clicking on all cylinders recently, but overall the Gators are in a good spot with a Class B-leading 27 wins. 

6. Cold Spring Springers — Sorry guys, we’ll see you next year :(

7. Elko Express — If there’s one playoff series I’d like to be around for, it’s the rivalry series between the Express and New Market. Buckle Up!

8. Burnsville Bobcats — 6-2 in July and are consistently playing competitive ball. Could this be the year the Bobcats break their tourney drought? Summer League Return Watch: Noah Juliar

9. Anoka Bucs — Winners of six of seven down the stretch, and playing as well as they ever have. Return Watch: Nathan Culley (update: done for the summer). 

10. Chaska Cubs — After losing five of six they closed the regular season strong with wins over Victoria and St. Anthony. After a first-round victory over Shakopee, the mighty Red Birds awaited. 

Honorable Mention: Victoria Vics — Fizzled down the stretch losing four of five. Opened section play with an 8-0 win over Prior Lake. 

New Market Muskies — Knock your biggest rivals to the redemption round, or get back to Class C? That will be the question for the Muskies. 

Rochester Royals — Matt Meyer is a tough matchup for anybody. A popular spoiler-type pick for many if they can make it to state. 

Aldon Severson — Northfield

1. Chanhassen Red Birds — With a record of 24-2, Chanhassen appears ready to make a run at four straight Class B state championships. 

2. Blaine Fusion — 27-6 against a very difficult schedule, the Fusion are poised for a deep run in the 2021 state tournament. 

3. Champlin Logators — 27-13 in the regular season and secured the No. 1 seed in the Section 4B tournament. 

4. Moorhead Brewers — Yet again the Brewers are the No. 1 seed coming out of Section 2B. Nobody would be shocked to see them playing on Labor Day. 

5. Miesville Mudhens — Miesville secured the No. 1 seed in the Section 1B tournament, but faces a tough Dundas squad in the best of three series. 

6. Elko Express — Elko finished the regular season with a 21-12 record and No. 2 seed in the Section 1B playoffs. 

7. Anoka Bucs — After a 22-9 record in the regular season, expect to see Anoka make a run at the state tournament. 

8 Cold Spring Springers — Another successful summer for the Springers despite playoff disqualification. 

9. Chaska Cubs — After a 20-win summer, expect to see the Cubs at the state tournament in their own ballpark. 

10. New Market Muskies — The Muskies are loaded with young talent. Can they get through a stacked Section 1B playoff series to make state?

Jon Sands — Victoria

1. Chanhassen Red Birds

2. Moorhead Brewers 

3. Blaine Fusion

4. Elko Express

5. Champlin LoGators

6. Miesville Mudhens

7. Anoka Bucs

8. Rochester Royals

9. Chaska Cubs

10. Dundas Dukes

Class B rankings (As of Aug. 13)(Pts)(Previous)

1. Chanhassen Red Birds (40)(1)

2. Moorhead Brewers (34)(2)

3. Champlin Park LoGators (27)(5)

4. Miesville Mudhens (26)(4)

5. Blaine Fusion (25)(3)

6. Elko Express (18)(6)

7. Anoka Bucs (13)(9)

8. Burnsville Bobcats (9)(NR)

9. Rochester Royals (8)(NR)

9. Cold Spring Springers (8)(7)

Also receiving votes: New Market Muskies, Victoria Vics, Chaska Cubs, Dundas Dukes, Moorhead Mudcats

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