Class C Rankings: May 25 Edition

It’s early days in the 2017 season, especially after a couple of weekends that washed out nearly all town ball action. But, early days or not, these wins and losses still count and will matter just as much as the season rolls on and playoffs approach. 

Four of our Class C experts collected their personal Top 10’s to get a sense of where the state’s largest division stands as May ends and June begins. 

Three of our four contributors selected the defending champion Raymond Rockets as their No. 1 team in Class C, with the fourth top pick going to the Sobieski Skis — the team Raymond beat to claim the 2016 Class C title. The year’s first No. 1 ranking ultimately went to Sobieski, who earned the second-place nod in three of the ballots, while Raymond was ranked sixth in one ballot, dropping them to No. 2 overall. 

(These ratings were submitted at different times this week, so some of the records may differ. For full, up-to-date records, visit mnbaseball.org) 

Aaron Worm – New Prague

1. Raymond Rockets – After winning their first ever state title last season, first poll has to have the champs on top

2. Sobieski Skis – No surprise on their run to the state title game last year, always one the best teams in the state

3. New Market Muskies – 5-0, including an 11-0 win over Howard Lake. The Fish are playing with a big chip on their shoulder after failing to make last year’s state tournament

4. Waconia Lakers – 3-0 on the season, including a non-league win again Hutchinson. Always a lot of talent, playing in the tough Crow River

5. Green Isle Irish – 2-0 and outscoring opponents 38-1, like New Market, didn’t get to the tourney last year. Being a host team this year, don’t expect that to happen again

6. Plato Blue Jays – State champions two years ago and part of arguably the best league in the state.

7. Prior Lake Mudcats – 4-0, including a 2-1 win over Class B Elko, lost to Sobieksi in 11 innings in the round of 16 at last year’s state tournament

8. Kimball Express – 3-0 in league play, with plenty of offense in the early start of the season

9. Spring Hill Chargers – 4-0 in the Stearns County League off to a fast start, including a win over a good New Munich team 

10. Sartell Muskies – Year in and year out always a powerhouse in the state, couldn’t leave them off my first-ever top 10 poll

Jason Kuerschner – Cologne

1. Sobieski Skis – 3-0 to start the season, have outscored their opponents 47-10.  This team is looking to another strong campaign and long playoff run

2. New Market Muskies – 5-0 start, and have outscored their opponents 64-13.  They are looking to avenge the early exit to the playoffs they experienced in the regions last year

3. Hampton Cardinals – Yet to play but a strong roster with a lot of talent.

4. Fort Ripley Rebels – 3-1 to start their season, with wins over league rivals Lastrup and Nisswa. Another strong start for this Victory League team, but can they make a run in the playoffs?

5. Sartell Muskies – Perennial strong team, haven’t played yet but should be strong again this season.

6. Raymond Rockets – Last year’s state tourney champs. They have started 1-0 with a win over Elrosa, another state qualifier last year.  They have the target on their backs this season, how far can they take it?

7. Waconia Lakers – 3-0 to start the season, they are getting older but can they infuse the young talent they do have with the crafty veterans and get deep into the playoffs?

8. Maple Lake Lakers – 3-1 to start the season, another veteran team looking to avenge an early exit in the regions last year

9. Plato Blue Jays – 2-1 to start, with that lone loss to Class “B” Chaska Cubs.  This team can flat out hit, question again for them is do they have the pitching?

10. Blue Earth Pirates – Another veteran club, can they make a run and do they have the youth to help out?

Trent Sukalski – Jackson 

1. Raymond Rockets – Defending state champions, I’ll start with them at the top

2. Sobieski Skis – The Skis are off to a 5-0 start. A team stacked with college players. It sounds like Scott Litchy is going to play in a college wood bat league, but had 3 homeruns, 7 RBI, and 5 runs scored in last weeks games for the Skis

3. Sartell Muskies – Finished 31-3 last year, including winning 26 games in a row, before losing to Raymond 2-1 to get to the final eight

4. Hutchinson Huskies – A Final Four team from last year, with everyone coming back

5. Plato Blue Jays – The 2015 state champions will be tough all year. 2-1 on the season, with their loss coming against the Chaska Cubs

6. Blue Earth Pirates – Made the state tournament for the 14th straight year last year. 1-0 so far this year, with a solid group of veterans back.

7. Watkins Clippers – Added a couple of nice pieces offensively to a solid group that finished in Sweet 16 last year

8. Fort Ripley Rebels – The Rebels are off to a 3-0 start. Jack Hegarty struck out 11 and didn’t allow a hit in his 5 innings of work against Pierz earlier in the month

9. Hadley Buttermakers – Great run in the state tournament last year. Manager Myron Bennett has a great group of veterans back

10. Nisswa Lightning – Another great run in the state tournament last year before losing to the eventual state champions to get to the Final Four

Tom Elliott – St. Cloud 

1. Raymond Rockets – First until further notice

2. Sobieski Skis – These guys will be really really good again

3. Hutchinson Huskies 

4. Fort Ripley Rebels – The Rebels have the most pitching in the Victory League, and that’s saying something

5. Plato Blue Jays

6. Sartell Muskies – Still the top team in the Sauk Valley and one of the top teams in the state 

7. Waconia Lakers 

8. New Market Muskies

9. Spring Hill Chargers – At 4-0, the Chargers are off to the best start in the Stearns County League, despite — or maybe because of — the loss of Louie Opatz (Editor’s note: Hey now.)

10. Watertown Red Devils 

CLASS C RANKINGS (as of May 25) 

Tiebreaker went to team with a higher ranking in one poll

1. Sobieski Skis (37 points)

2. Raymond (35)

3. New Market Muskies (20)

4. Sartell Muskies (20) 

5. Plato Blue Jays (19)

6. Fort Ripley Rebels (17)

7. Hutchinson Huskies (15)

8. Waconia Lakers (15)

9. Hampton Cardinals (8) 

10. Green Isle Irish (6) 

Others receiving votes: Blue Earth (6), Prior Lake Mudcats (4), Spring Hill Chargers (4), Watkins Clippers (4), Kimball Express (3), Maple Lake Lakers (3), Hadley Buttermakers (2), Nisswa Lightning (1), Watertown Red Devils (1)

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