Class C Rankings: May 17 Edition

— by Brett Kruschke

Four rankers this time around; find out who’s who in the latest edition of the Class C rankings:  

TOM ELLIOTT – St. Cloud Times

  1. Green Isle Irish – The Irish pick up a 4-1 win over Glencoe and have an intriguing schedule this week: Elko, Kimball and Plato. Kimball and Plato are top 10 teams in my poll and likely top 20 for everybody.
  2. Sartell Muskies – Sartell is 4-0 and playing well. The Muskies have an excellent offense led by Tim Burns, Luke Sweeter, Andrew Deters and Jace Otto.
  3. Jordan Brewers – The Brewers play an extremely tough schedule and the only loss is to a very good Class B team (the Shakopee Indians).
  4. Waconia Lakers – The Lakers are unbeaten and face Glencoe and Brownton this weekend.
  5. Kimball Express – The veteran Express are off to a 4-0 start. Besides Green Isle, Kimball also has a very good Luxemburg Brewers team on its schedule this week. That will be a Central Valley League score to watch this weekend.
  6. Howard Lake Orphans – I’m adopting the Orphans as one of the top teams in the North Star League, not to mention the state.
  7. New Market Muskies – At 7-0, it’s time to hop the Muskie bandwagon. Two former Sauk Rapids Cyclones, brothers Andy and Kyle Henkemeyer, are helping in New Market’s success.
  8. Plato Blue Jays – Plato is 4-1 with only a 3-2 loss to Maple Lake on its schedule.
  9. Fort Ripley – Nisswa and Sobieski are definitely top Victory League teams, but the Rebels have played the best so far. They are 3-0 with wins over Cuyuna Range, Nisswa and St. Stephen. They beat Nisswa 7-1.
  10. New Munich – The Silverstreaks are off to a 4-0 start in the Stearns County League North Division. It was a toss-up to stick either New Munich or Lake Henry into the 10th spot this week. Lake Henry is 4-0 in the Stearns County South. New Munich may have a tad more pitching depth. Lake Henry has the best offense in the league, led by the Kampsen brothers, Josh, Jason and Shane.

TRENT SUKALSKI – Jackson

  1.  Green Isle 3-0:  Beat Glencoe 4-1 on Sunday to stay perfect on the young season, the 2015 runner-up is off to a strong start.
  2. Sartell 4-0:  An impressive 10-1 win over Maple Lake; the 2013 State Champions are in mid-season form, and it’s only May.
  3. Blue Earth 2-0:  Two convincing wins to start the season, including a 25-0 thrashing over Cleveland on Sunday.
  4. Waconia 4-0:  8-0 win over Carver on Sunday keeps the final 8 team from a year ago perfect.
  5. Jordan 3-1:  Wins over Class B teams Prior Lake, Shakopee and Chaska, pretty impressive for the veteran Brewers that finished in the final 8 a year ago. Lost their opener to Shakopee, understandable.
  6. Nisswa 3-1:  Three wins by the 10-run rule for the Final Four team from a year ago. Their only loss coming to a very tough undefeated Fort Ripley team (3-0).
  7. New Ulm 0-1:  They opened up Sunday with a loss to Gibbon, without college players Mitch Kelly at Riverland, and Hoffman and Judd Davis at St. Cloud. 
  8. Hanska 3-0:  Beat Lamberton 2-1 on Sunday in a great game. Also, quality wins over Sleepy Eye Indians and Fairmont Martins. 
  9. Plato 3-1:  Lost to a very good Maple Lake team in their opener, but the 2015 Champions have rebounded by 10-running their next three opponents.
  10. New Market 7-0:  Are you kidding? 7-0 already! 7 straight wins to open the season and a sweet 16 finish last year has New Market in my top 10.

On the bubble:  Lamberton, Fort Ripley, Maple Lake, Luverne, Faribault, Hampton, Howard Lake, Cannon Falls, Sobieski

JASON KUERSCHNER – Cologne

  1. Green Isle Irish 4-0 – Strong start to their season, have some great competition coming up on their schedule; can they maintain?
  2. Jordan Brewers 3-1 – All these guys do is win! And against some of the toughest competition in Class “B”. They have only played against Section 3B, they will begin their “C” schedule shortly.
  3. Waconia Lakers 4-0 – Played well enough to win, Hamburg challenged them, but they are waiting for their schedule to heat up; can they stay just as hot?
  4. Sartell Muskies 4-0 – Playing well, knocked off Maple Lake earlier.
  5. Nisswa Lightning 3-1 – My original #1 but after a 7-1 loss to Fort Ripley I have to drop them.  It is still early and they are too good of a team to drop any further, I do expect them to work their way back up towards the top as the season progresses.
  6. Plato Blue Jays 4-1 – Lost their first game of the season to Maple Lake, but haven’t loss since, winning by 10 or more runs in each of them.  Looks like their bats are already hot, can they sustain and will the pitching be there all season?
  7. Blue Earth Pirates – Very strong start and a huge blowout win over the past weekend; with their veteran leadership, this should continue to be a strong season.
  8. New Market Muskies 7-0, so far the most games played in the poll and worth mentioning their unblemished record.
  9. Fort Ripley Rebels 3-0 – Strong start to their Victory League schedule, big 7-1 win over Nisswa propels them into the top 10.
  10. Hanska Lakers 3-0 – They have a strong start to the young season, can they continue that in the Tomahawk East League?

CHRIS PACK – Hayfield

1. Sartell Muskies (4-0) – Big weekend with 9-1 win over St. Joseph and 10-1 win over tough Maple Lake squad

2. Green Isle Irish (3-0) – Stayed unbeaten with win over Glencoe on Sunday

3. Waconia Lakers (3-0) – Second straight shutout win Sunday with an 8-0 victory over Carver

4. Blue Earth Pirates (2-0) – Big thumping over Cleveland 25-0 Sunday. 

5. New Market Muskies (7-0) – Another win Sunday over New Prague. Impressive start for the Muskies. 

6. Fort Ripley Rebels (3-0) – Three home wins to start the year, including the signature win over Nisswa. 

7. Nisswa Lightning (3-1) – Rebounded from loss to Fort Ripley with a pounding of Avon on Sunday. 

8. Plato Blue Jays (3-1) – Three straight wins after opening day loss to Maple Lake

9. Sobieski Skis (3-1) – Big 10-9 win over Upsala Sunday to avenge opening day loss to them

10. Faribault Lakers (3-0) – Third straight low-scoring victory Sunday with a 5-2 win over St. Patrick. Given up four runs in three games. 

On the bubble: Jordan, Hanska, Milroy Yankees, New Munich, Howard Lake

CLASS C RANKINGS (as of May 17):

1. Green Isle Irish (39 points)

2. Sartell Muskies (35) 

3. Waconia Lakers (30)

4. Jordan Brewers (23)

5. Blue Earth Pirates (19) 

6. Nisswa Lightning (15)

7. New Market Muskies (14)

8. Plato Bluejays (13)

9. Fort Ripley Rebels (9) 

10. Kimball Express (6) 

Others receiving votes: Howard Lake Orphans (5), Hanska Lakers (4), New Ulm Brewers (4), Sobieski Skis (2), Faribault Lakers (1), New Munich Silverstreaks (1). 

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