Class B state tournament prognosticators

Posted on Aug. 27, 2015 by CJ Siewert 

Tonight marks the second weekend of state tournament action, but it’s the first round for the 16-team Class B tournament.

And since we previewed the Class C tourney with prognostications, it’s only fair we do the same for Class B.

We’ve done Class B rankings all season long and the final rankings were posted Aug. 6. But we got some of the committee members back together for one last look at how the teams are shaping up for the Fall Classic.

In this last edition of Class B “rankings,” we split the 16-team bracket into two groups – the top and bottom halves. 

Within those two groups, we have four characteristics paired with the teams of our opinion.

• BLUE CHIPS: Best 1 or 2 teams in that group

• UNDER THE RADAR: 1 or 2 teams that haven’t received a lot of attention statewide, but could make a run

• UPSET ALERT: Section champ with the toughest possible matchup in its first game

• GUT FEELING: 1 team that could make it to the championship that may not be a blue chip, or there’s just that gut feeling about anything 

Aaron Olson – Shakopee

Top Half:

Blue Chip-Cold Spring and Blaine

Under the Radar-Dundas

Upset Alert-Isanti

Gut Feeling-Cold Spring

Bottom Half:

Blue Chip-Moorhead and Miesville

Under the Radar-Forest Lake-haven’t won the big games

Upset Alert-Not much here as most matchups are straight up.  If Monticello can win that would be the upset! Shakopee is a #2 seed!

Gut Feeling-Miesville

Eric Kraushar – Chanhassen/Chaska

Top Half of Bracket

• BLUE CHIP: Cold Spring, hard to argue against two-time defending Springers

• UNDER THE RADAR: Blaine has 35 wins in 44 games and has Shane Bushland, who is 9-1 on the mound with 99 strikeouts in a staggering 87 innings this summer.

• UPSET ALERT: Dundas, a section runner-up, has to be favorite in first-round match-up against section champion St. Michael. 

• GUT FEELING: Chaska, winners of six straight, could continue to roll if they can get past Isanti in round one. I see the Springers and Cubs in the winners bracket finals. Would love to see Austin Lubinsky (Chaska) vs Zach Femrite (Cold Spring).

Bottom Half of Bracket

• BLUE CHIP: Beaudreau’s, which placed second a year ago and beat Cold Spring a week ago

• UNDER THE RADAR: Shakopee, despite being a section runner-up, has what it takes to win at state. They have reliable arms, solid batting line-up with veterans and up-and-coming stars

• UPSET ALERT: I see two section runner-ups, Shakopee and Beaudreau’s, winning quarterfinal match-ups

• GUT FEELING: Miesville. They have put together 21 wins in the last 22 games. 

WINNER: Miesville over Cold Spring

Matt Marek – Champlin 

Top Half

Blue Chip – Cold Spring
You have to like Cold Spring’s chances to get to the final two. Duluth isn’t the same team as they were last year when they won something like 19 of their first 20. Dundas or St. Michael is up next and it sounds like Mathison from Dundas has been battling a sore arm. Really like this squad on their home turf.

Under the Radar – Dundas

With Cold Spring and Blaine as the prohibitive favorites, they’re probably the pick. Inexplicably, the Dukes fell out of favor with the pollsters for the second half of the season after a two-week stretch that saw losses to St. Michael, Champlin and Northfield. St. Michael isn’t the same team they were a couple years ago, but that’s proving to be not such a bad loss, not to mention they boast five wins over Class A teams that made the state tournament. Todd Mathison has been banged up, but he threw in the playoff series against Elko. If he’s healthy, don’t be surprised to see them make a run.

Upset Alert – Dundas/Chaska

See above on Dundas…St. Michael beat them earlier. Chaska finally got hot at the right time after struggling during the early part of August and look to be in top form. However, they will probably get the young and talented Jake Johnson from Isanti. I tend to favor experience over youth in amateur ball, but Johnson can put up the K’s in a hurry. 

Gut Feeling – Blaine

I think they’re going to get to the title game or go 1-2 and be done. Mossey and Bushland will probably be their 1-2 (or vice versa) starters and can shut anybody down. Pitching won’t be the issue, but their success will ride on the bottom half of their lineup. Ryan Sutterer has been battling injury and they didn’t have any late season additions that would scare me (See: Alex Boxwell, 2014).

Bottom Half

Blue Chip – Moorhead

They get the nod here for their victory over Miesville this year. They’re a veteran club with pedigree that has a schedule that gets them ready for tournament time.

Under the Radar – Eagan

This is the third straight appearance in The Dance for the Bandits, so they can’t be discounted. There’s been a lot of chatter about the Miesville-Coon Rapids match-up in this bracket, probably pushing Eagan off the Radar. They haven’t performed well against the stronger opponents on their schedule, which pushes them further back in people’s minds. Like I said, don’t discount tournament experience this time of year.

Upset Alert – Moorhead

I guess I could say Shakopee as well, but I feel like everybody in this bracket is pretty closely matched up. Monticello beat Cold Spring early in the year, and played the Springer to a one-run loss in August. They also played Blaine to a one-run game early in the year.

Gut Feeling – MATCHUP OF DEATH!!!

Let’s go with the winner of Miesville/Coon Rapids gets to the 4th round game against Cold Spring/Blaine. There has been a lot of chatter about this game on the interwebs (a decent amount by myself), just for the bad break both teams got by drawing each other. Miesville comes in ranked 2nd in the state, with Coon Rapids at 7th  Steve Schroer vs. the potent Mudhen lineup will be very fun to see play out.

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