Class C Rankings: June 14 Edition

–by Brett Kruschke

The Nisswa Lightning couldn’t have thundered any louder over the weekend, winning three games by a combined score of 72-5. Suffering their first loss of the season, however, is not yet enough to knock the New Market Muskies from the top slot, as the pride of the DRS has still won 16 of 17 and in convincing fashion as well.

TOM ELLIOTT – St. Cloud

  1. New Market Muskies – They just keep winning, with only a loss to Class A Lyon’s Pub in an excellent season so far.
  2. Green Isle Irish – The Irish have won five in a row since the last poll and deserve a mention.
  3. Jordan Brewers – Jordan won the Stearns County Classic, then beat Belle Plaine and Chanhassen and swept two from Henderson.
  4. Plato Blue Jays – Plato keeps winning, putting up some huge scores.
  5. Sartell Muskies – Sartell lost its second game of the year, 1-0 to Mora, in its tournament, the Omann Insurance Classic. Otherwise, the Muskies have kept rolling.
  6. Kimball Express – Kimball fell 1-0 to the Fergus Falls Hurricanes, but have played really well in the Central Valley League.
  7. Fort Ripley Rebels – They remain unbeaten in the Victory League.
  8. Nisswa Lightning – Nisswa has one Victory League loss, but has added 38-3 (over Aitkin) and 23-2 (over Holdingford) wins to its resume.
  9. Blue Earth Pirates – All this team does is win, going 5-0 since the last poll.
  10. Farming Flames – Farming has the best record in the Stearns County League and is playing well. They are host to a tournament June 24-25 that should give some insight as to whether they deserve this ranking.

CHRIS BASO – Midway

  1. Nisswa. Unreal offensive production
  2. New Market. Finally suffered a loss
  3. Green Isle. Continuing to win
  4. Sartell.  Going to stay towards the top
  5. Jordan. Won the Stearns County tournament and beat Chanhassen 
  6. Plato. Putting up some big scores
  7. Blue Earth. Won the Belle Plaine tournament
  8. Morris. Coming on strong with great pitching; won their own tournament 
  9. Ft. Ripley. Still winning 
  10. Waconia

TRENT SUKALSKI – Jackson

  1. Blue Earth (10-0):  The Pirates captured the 18th annual Tigertown Classic in Belle Plaine last weekend. The Pirates defeated Pipestone, Luverne and Renner, 6 -4, in the championship game. My youngest brother Cody Sukalski picking up the win against Renner. Not many teams have the pitching depth that Blue Earth does with Aaron Wendt, Lee Hodges, Brandyn Olsen and Sukalski. They are also playing without one of their best arms in Garrett Anderson, who is out for the year with a knee injury. My tip of the hat to Belle Plaine for hosting a tremendous tournament again. I played in the first eight Tigertown Classics as a member of the Granite Falls Kilowatts and then as the Marshall A’s player/manager. They are great memories. 
  2.  New Market (16-1): The Muskies dropped their first game of the season to Lyon’s Pub Warriors, 8-4. They got right back on track, however, with wins against Prior Lake, St. Paul Capitals, St. Benedict and Shakopee Coyotes.
  3. Waconia (8-1):  The Lakers suffered their first loss of the season, 1-0, to the Chaska Cubs. Josh Lenz gave up only three hits in the loss, the only run scoring on a double-play. The Lakers defeated the Watertown Red Devils, 9-8, in a wild game. A little side note, former Laker and Waconia Wildcat, Dalton Sawyer, was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 9th round of the MLB Draft.
  4.  Fort Ripley (10-0):  The Rebels are my biggest climber in the polls, moving up from my No. 10 spot two weeks ago. They went 5-0 over that time to remain perfect on the season. Their last three wins coming over Cuyuna 13-0, Aitkin 4-1 and Holdingford 12-0.  The Rebels are 9-0 in the Victory League North Division, one game ahead of Nisswa.
  5. Nisswa (11-1): The Lightning have been hot as well, going 4-0 over the last two weeks. The Lighting picked up wins over Freeport, Holdingford, Long Prairie and the Aitkin Steam.
  6. Green Isle (12-2): The Irish stay perfect in the Crow River Valley League West division with a 9-0 record in league play. They also went 5-0 since our last poll, including wins over Freeport, Brownton (on a great outing from Mac Zachow), and New Germany. Region 7C standings have Green Isle 9-0, Waconia 8-0 and Plato 9-1; that’s a tough region. Green Isle is hosting the Miller Lite Tourney next weekend with a 16-team field loaded with great teams.
  7. Jordan (13-3):  The Brewers are on a roll. They have won seven straight games since our last poll, including a 6-2 win over the Sobieski Skis, on their way to capturing the Stearns County Classic title. The Brewers defeated Lake Henry 8-7 in the championship game. 
  8. Sartell (9-2): The Muskies lost 1-0 to Mora in the Omann Insurance Open and defeated New London and St. Stephen 7-1 and 2-0, respectively. The Muskies also added wins over St. Joseph and the Foley Lumberjacks, as they’ve gone 4-1 over the last two weeks.
  9. Plato (9-3): The defending state champions are back in my top 10. The Blue Jays are winners of five straight games, including a 21-0 thrashing of the New Germany Dutchmen.
  10. Lamberton (11-3):  The Long Sox are in first place in the Tomahawk East – American Division. They have gone 4-1 since our last poll and had an impressive come-from-behind win at Sleepy Eye; down 7-2 in the 7th, they rallied to win, 8-7. The Long Sox also 10-runned Stark, the Jackson Bulls and Gibbon in the last two weeks. They are proving themselves the class of the Tomahawk.

On the bubble:  Kimball, Milroy Yankees, Sobieski, Dassel-Cokato, Worthington, Luverne, Milroy Irish.

JASON KUERSCHNER – Cologne

  1. New Market Muskies – 16-1 only loss to Lyon’s Pub in their own tourney. Have outscored their opponents 191-40 and continue to roll.
  2. Nisswa Lightning – 11-1 Jumping from my previous No. 5 to No. 2. They avenged the early-season loss to Freeport by 10-running them. This past weekend they played three games, winning all of them by a combined score of 72-5.
  3. Waconia Lakers – 8-1 fell to the Chaska Cubs 1-0, yet they out-hit them, 7-3.
  4. Fort Ripley Rebels – 9-0 continuing to win games and leading the way in the Victory League.
  5. Sartell Muskies – 9-2 fell to Mora 1-0 in their own tourney, but still a tough team.
  6. Kimball Express – still rolling on in the Central Valley.
  7. Green Isle Irish – 13-2 back to their winning ways and gearing up for their own tourney later this month with Hamburg.
  8. Blue Earth Pirates – Just won the Tigertown Classic in Belle Plaine over the weekend.
  9. Midway Snurdbirds – 9-1 may have lost the Twitter poll for best town team nickname to the Hadley Buttermakers, but they make the top ten in my poll for racking up game wins!
  10. Jordan Brewers – 13-3 back in my top ten after winning the Stearns County Classic

Honorable Mention:  Plato Blue Jays 9-3, Milroy Yankees 13-3, D-C Saints 10-3

CHRIS PACK – Hayfield

1. Blue Earth Pirates (10-0) – Big tournament win at Belle Plaine with the championship game victory over SD powerhouse Renner. Also defeated the Austin Greyhounds since last rankings. 

2. Fort Ripley Rebels (10-0) – They just keep winning. Big tournament this weekend in Arlington 

3. New Market Muskies (16-1) – One minor hiccup against a Class A team. Still playing well. 

4. Waconia Lakers (7-1) – Only one game since last set of rankings and they won. 

5. Sartell Muskies (9-2) – Both losses this season are 1-0 games. Only given up 10 runs in 11 games. 

6. Nisswa Lightning (11-1) – They keep pounding the ball. 190 runs, including 33 home runs in 12 games. Can they keep up this torrid pace?

7. Green Isle Irish (12-2) – Nine straight wins and they look to be playing well as we hit mid-June. Big tournament in two weekends with the Miller Lite Invite.

8. Jordan Brewers (13-3) – Seven straight wins. Had a six-game winning streak earlier in the year. Tough schedule the next couple weeks. 

9. Plato Blue Jays (9-3) – Five straight wins – including three straight shutouts – after dropping two of three earlier in the year. 

10. Farming Flames (7-1) – Seven straight wins, but have only played one game in June. Play Lake Henry next with a chance to avenge their only loss. 

CLASS C RANKINGS (as of June 14):

1. New Market Muskies (46 points)

2. Nisswa Lightning (33)

3. Green Isle Irish (30)

4. Blue Earth Pirates, Fort Ripley Rebels (29)

6. Sartell Muskies (28)

7. Waconia Lakers (24)

8. Jordan Brewers (22)

9. Plato Bluejays (16)

10. Kimball Express (10)

Others receiving votes: Morris Eagles (3), Farming Flames (2), Midway Snurdbirds (2), Lamberton Long Sox (1)

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