Class C rankings: Waterville and others join the ranks for the first time

By Nick Gerhardt

Our four experts welcomed three new teams in to the top 10 this time around. Loretto got a look by the experts and heck, why not? The Larks have played well the entire season and oh, by the way, added former Minnesota Twins third baseman Corey Koskie. Koskie promptly hit a home run in his first game.

The titans of Class C remained nearly unchanged, but a three-way tie for second place last time got sorted out.

Waterville and Hutchinson climbed into the top 10 for the first time this season while Windom moved up two spots.

But let’s see what the experts thought. 

Aaron Worm — Albert Lea

1. Sartell Muskies — Finally dropped a game, losing to Jordan still 27-1.

2. Waconia Lakers — Still unbeaten in the Crow.

3. Sobieski Skis  —  Skis will once again be a favorite to win the whole thing.

4. St Patrick Irish — Still in cruise control to win the DRS regular season title

5.. Isanti Redbirds  — 22-3, the birds are definitely for real 

6. Buckman Billygoats — The Goats, one of the top teams in the Victory League along with Sobieski

7. New Ulm Brewers — 14-1 on top of the Tomahawk East.

8.  Windom Pirates — Last check the Pirates were 19-2, welcome to my top 10. 

9. Loretto Larks — I saw four teams in the North Star league all tied at 13-4 on the season, picked one. I’ll go with the team with Corey Koskie on it.  

10. Plato Bluejays — Remember these guys, I think they are back and ready to make some noise at state.

Tom Elliott — Willmar 

1. Waconia Lakers — Waconia went 18-0 in the Crow River Valley North and is the top seed in the Region 7C playoffs.

2. St. Patrick Irish — The Irish have gone undefeated since the last poll, finishing the Dakota-Rice-Scott League with a 15-3 record.

3. Sobieski Skis — Sobieski will be formidable in Region 8C after going 8-1 in the Victory League South-West. Only a 5-4 loss to St. Stephen blemishes the record.

4. Sartell Muskies — Sartell is 27-1 and certainly one of the top teams in the state. The Muskies’ lone loss is to the Jordan Brewers, 8-6 in the championship game of the Coors Light Classic.

5. Windom Pirates — Windom won the First Nite League and is 19-3 overall, having won five games since the last poll.

6. Watkins Clippers — Watkins won the Central Valley League North. Since the last poll, left-hander Matthew Geislinger pitched a perfect game against the Willmar Rails.

7. Jordan Brewers — Jordan is 19-8 and plays a difficult schedule. They’re likely a top eight team in the state despite others having better records.

8. Loretto Larks — The North Star League is very balanced at the top, with Hutchinson, Delano and Buffalo equally tough. The Lakers, however, have been using a designated hitter named Corey Koskie recently. 

9. Plato Bluejays — Plato won the South Division of the Crow River Valley and should be in the conversation among the state’s top teams.

10. Milroy Yankees — Milroy will at least tie for first place in the Corn Belt League with Raymond and Bird Island on the Yankees’ heels. 

Kip Kovar — Howard Lake

1. Waconia Lakers — Remain undefeated in the CRVL. Have allowed just 21 runs in 18 league games. A complete team.

2. St. Patrick Irish — Remain atop the standings in DRS. Continue to play well as the postseason begins soon.

3. Sobieski Skis — Still one of the top teams in the state in their return to Class C. Expect them to be poised for another postseason run.

4. Sartell Muskies — A team that might be one of the most underrated. Won last three games outscoring opponents 22-0.

5. Isanti Red Birds — Still my sneaky pick of the season this year in the state tournament. A sleeper but shouldn’t be.

6. Buckman Billygoats — Just stick them in the top 10 every week. A solid squad that is consistent.

7. Waterville Indians — A team I honestly don’t know much about. Can’t argue with results though as they are the No. 1 seed in the 13/16 League.

8. Loretto Larks — This year’s version of the Buffalo Bulldogs. A team to keep an eye on now and in the postseason. At the top of a tough North Star League.

9. Buffalo Bulldogs — Came down to earth a bit in the last week or so. Still a really good team with hopes of winning the North Star League.

10. Plato Bluejays — You don’t sweep Carver and Young America by accident. The Bluejays are good and will have a chance to show they are for real as the No. 2 seed in the Region 7C Tournament.

Chad Knutson — Heron Lake

1. Waconia Lakers — 18-0 in a tough CRVL 25-2 overall.

2. Sartell Muskies — 29-1 – Veteran team with great pitching know-how to win.

3. Sobieski Skis — 20 wins and looking to make another deep playoff run – back in Class C.

4. Hutchinson Huskies — 23-6 and won very competitive North star league 16-4 battling Delano, Buffalo and Loretto who all finish 15-5.

5. Isanti Redbirds — 25-4 record outscoring opponents 234-67.

6. St. Patrick Irish – won a always tough DRS league with 17-4 record … runners-up last year and  with a mix of veteran and young talent.

7. Waterville Indians — 20-4 winning 13-60.

8 Luverne Redbirds — 20-5 overall record winning Gophers league, very good hitting team and have the pitching take a deep playoff run.

9. New Ulm Brewers — 20-5 won Tomahawk East.

10. Young America Cardinals — Veteran playoff team who has the talent to win it all — tough team to beat.

Honorable Mention: Jordan Brewers, Plato Blue Jays, Springfield Tigers, Windom Pirates, Buckman Billygoats, Bemidji Blue Ox, Milroy Yankees, Raymond Rockets, Bluffton Braves, Fergus Falls Canes, Carver Black Sox, Buffalo Bulldogs, Delano Tigers, Loretto Larks, Cold Spring Rockies, Watkins Clippers, Red Wing Aces, St. Martin Martins, St. Clair Wood Ducks, Wanamingo Jacks, Rochester Roadrunners, Union Hill Bulldogs, New London-Spicer Twins, Faribault Lakers.

Class C rankings (As of July 26)(Pts)(Previous)

1. Waconia Lakers (39)(1)

2. Sartell Muskies (33)(2)

3. Sobieski Skis (32)(2)

4. St. Patrick Irish (30)(2)

5. Isanti Redbirds (12)(5)

6. Buckman Billygoats (10)(7)

7. Windom Pirates (9)(10)

8. Waterville Indians (8)(NR)

8. Loretto Larks (8)(NR)

10. Hutchinson Huskies (7)(NR)

Also receiving votes: Plato Bluejays, New Ulm Brewers, Watkins Clippers, Jordan Brewers, Milroy Yankees, Buffalo Bulldogs, Luverne Redbirds, Young America Cardinals, Springfield Tigers, Bemidji Blue Ox, Raymond Rockets, Bluffton Braves, Fergus Falls Canes, Carver Black Sox, Delano Athletics, Cold Spring Rockies, Red Wing Aces, St. Martin Martins, St. Clair Wood Ducks, Wanamingo Jacks, Rochester Roadrunners, Union Hill Bulldogs, New London-Spicer Twins, Faribault Lakers.

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