Class C rankings: Top 5 gets a shuffle as Delano drops early games

By Nick Gerhardt

nickgerhardt@mnbaseball.org

Rankings at this time of year often prove topsy-turvy and we saw that going on in our newest poll.

Buckman owns the No. 1 spot outright this time after sharing it with Delano. The Athletics already have as many losses as last season. Last year, their third loss of the season came in the state tournament quarterfinals. Delano slid to No. 5 in this poll but will remain a contender.

Perennial top-10 team Jordan grabbed the No. 2 ranking after holding down the No. spot in the previous poll. Last year’s runner-up and previous No. 1 team, Bird Island, stood pat at No. 3. This time the Bullfrogs check in at No. 3 and share the spot with Watertown, another high riser. The Red Devils sat at No. 6 in the last poll.

Two teams share the No. 6 ranking. Pollster darlings New Ulm and Webster each moved up from their previous spots to the No. 6 position. 

Young America, which has returned to Class C this season, made the top 10 at No. 8 this round. St. Martin moved up a spot to No. 9 and Nisswa slipped to No. 10 after claiming the eighth spot last time. 

Tom Elliott — West Central Tribune

  1. Buckman Billygoats (12-0) — Buckman’s making a strong case for being one of the top teams in the state again with its perfect record in the rugged Victory League.
  2. St. Martin Martins (9-1) — St. Martin’s the last one-loss team in the Stearns County League.
  3. Bird Island Bullfrogs (6-1) — Bird Island’s at the top of the Corn Belt League standings.
  4. Avon Lakers (9-1)  — Avon’s one of the top teams in the Victory League and is currently on top of the South Division. Another Victory League team to watch include the Nisswa Lightning.
  5. Watertown Red Devils (9-1) — Is this the best team in the Crow River Valley League? Waconia, Young America, Plato and Brownton will have something to say about that.
  6. New Ulm Brewers (7-0) — New Ulm’s gotten through the Tomahawk East undefeated so far, no easy feat. A lot of the baseball parks in this part of the state are taking a beating because of all the rain. Cross your fingers that the poor weather backs off.
  7. Webster Sox (5-1) — Webster looks like one of the teams to beat in the Dakota-Rice-Scott League.
  8. Loretto Larks (6-1) — Loretto is right there at the top of the North Star League standings with the Hutchinson Huskies and Buffalo Bullfrogs.
  9. Sartell Muskies (5-2) — The Muskies are 8-3 overall and coming off a big win over Sauk Valley League rival St. Joseph.
  10. Atwater Chuckers — Atwater is one of the top teams in the County Line League and coming off a championship in the Roscoe Tournament.

Kip Kovar — Herald Journal

  1. Bird Island Bullfrogs – The Bullfrogs continue to play well. They had one setback with a loss to Marshall but responded immediately by picking up a bounce-back win over Milroy. Bird Island is an experienced group with a lot of talent. It will be fun to see if it can repeat last year’s state tournament appearance and make another deep run.
  2. Buckman Billygoats — The Billygoats have shown no signs of slowing down this season. With a perfect record thus far in league play, Buckman appears to be finding its groove early on.
  3. Young America Cardinals — A loss to the Carver Black Sox earlier this season has been forgiven by me. The Cardinals have responded well since that loss including a convincing win over Watertown and followed that up with a big win this past weekend against Plato. Ace Josh Lenz is back and better than ever. If Young America cleans a few things up, it won’t be long until its set to make another deep postseason run in its first year back in Class C.
  4. Jordan Brewers — A perfect 14-0 on the season shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The Brewers are once again loaded and ready to make one last deep run in the state tournament before things change. Jordan has a recent win over Waconia and has a tough weekend upcoming with matchups with Delano, Cold Spring, and Bird Island at their own Charlie Larca Memorial Invitational.
  5. Delano Athletics — It’s been a tough week and change for the A’s with losses to Watertown, Buffalo and Loretto. Despite all that, there’s no reason to panic. Delano is still one of the top teams in the state. The A’s added some pitching depth recently. Once the bats heat up, the A’s remain one of the best teams in the state.
  6. Webster Sox — The Sox might have had more rainouts than games thus far this season but it’s hard to argue with what they’ve done when given the chance. Webster is a young and talented team that will be fun to watch down the stretch. With a ton of games to play to close out the regular, depth will play a key factor.
  7. Watertown Red Devils — Like the Webster Sox, the Red Devils have been plagued by postponements. If there’s any team that can handle a loaded schedule to close out the year, it is Watertown. The Red Devils still boast one of the deepest pitching staffs in the state and find themselves in the mix in the Crow River Valley League.
  8. New Ulm Brewers — A perfect 7-0 in Tomahawk East League. New Ulm looks to be the team to beat in Region 2C again this year as it looks for its fourth-straight league title.
  9. Nisswa Lightning — Nisswa has won four straight after suffering back-to-back losses. The Lightning started to figure things out again, boasting a powerful lineup.
  10. Hutchinson Huskies — The Huskies have quietly moved into the top spot in the North Star League standings alongside Buffalo. Hutchinson is a perennially top 10 team and will be a team to keep an eye on again this season.

Chad Knutson — Heron Lake Lakers

  1. Watertown Red Devils — 15-1, only loss to Young America, team to beat in the tough Crow, with Waconia, Plato and Brownton all playing well.
  2. Jordan Brewers — Undefeated 14-0, big three-game stretch with Delano, Cold Spring Springers and Bird Island coming up
  3. Buckman Billygoats — 12-0, best team in the Victory right now, with Avon, Nisswa and Foley pushing them.
  4. New Ulm Brewers — 13-1, lead the Tomahawk, Courtland, Leavenworth and Lamberton in the hunt.
  5. Delano Athletics — 8-3, only losses to Watertown, Buffalo and Loretto, Hutch and Buffalo are also very good in the North Star
  6. Young America Cardinals — Back in class C. Lost to Carver early, but have beaten Watertown and Plato.
  7. Maple Lake Lakers — Defending Champs are still playing well, with 11 wins and have a tough remaining schedule to get them ready to potentially make another run.
  8. Luverne Redbirds — 9-1 best and deepest pitching staff in the First Nite/Gopher, Windom, Jackson, Fairmont on the First NIte side contending, and Milroy Irish and Hadley Buttermakers from the Gopher, all will make it hard for the Redbirds to repeats as region champs.
  9. St. Martin Martins — 10 wins and on top of the Stearns County League. Richmond, Spring Hill and Greenwald all playing well.
  10. Webster Sox — Top young team in the DRS, many big games coming in July, with New Prague and Union Hill being two of them.

Honorable Mention: Bird Island Bullfrogs, Plato Blue Jays, Avon Lakers, Courtland Cubs,  Foley Jacks, Cold Spring Rockies, New Prague Orioles, Atwater Chuckers, Nisswa Lightning, Waconia Lakers, Bemidji Blue Ox, Hutchinson Huskies Clearwater Rivercats, Kimball Express, Brownton Bruins, Jackson Bulls, Princeton Panthers, Morris Eagles, Fergus Falls Canes, Windom Pirates, Regal Eagles, Red Wing Aces, Union Hill Bulldogs, New York Mills Millers, Leavenworth Orioles

Aaron Worm — Mankato

  1. Buckman Billygoats
  2. Jordan Brewers
  3. Nisswa Lightning
  4. Delano Athletics
  5. Webster Sox
  6. Bird Island Bullfrogs
  7. Maple Lake Lakers
  8. Watertown Red Devils
  9. Young America Cardinals
  10. New Ulm Brewers

Class C rankings (as of June 27)(Pts)(Previous)

1. Buckman Billygoats (37)(T1)

2. Jordan Brewers (25)(5)

3. Bird Island Bullfrogs (23)(6)

3. Watertown Red Devils (23)(6)

5. Delano Athletics (19)(T1)

6. New Ulm Brewers (16)(9)

6. Webster Sox (16)(7)

8. Young America Cardinals (15)(NR)

9. St. Martin Martins (11)(10)

10. Nisswa Lightning (10)(8)

 

Also receiving votes: Avon Lakers, Maple Lake Lakers, Loretto Larks, Luverne Redbirds, Sartell Muskies, Atwater Chuckers, Hutchinson Huskies, Plato Blue Jays, Courtland Cubs,  Foley Lumberjacks, Cold Spring Rockies, New Prague Orioles, Waconia Lakers, Bemidji Blue Ox, Clearwater Rivercats, Kimball Express, Brownton Bruins, Jackson Bulls, Princeton Panthers, Morris Eagles, Fergus Falls Hurricanes, Windom Pirates, Regal Eagles, Red Wing Aces, Union Hill Bulldogs, New York Mills Millers, Leavenworth Orioles

 

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