Region 6C Preview

Posted on July 29, 2012 by CJ Siewert

Region 6C play is set to begin Wednesday, Aug. 1 and will be comprised of six teams from the River Valley League in three best of three series. The top three teams, in order, from the West division are St. Peter, Gaylord and Winthrop, and the top three teams from the Central division are Jordan, Chanhassen and Belle Plaine.

St. Peter will match up with Belle Plaine, Chanhassen with Gaylord, and Jordan against Winthrop. Games one (Wednesday) and three (Sunday – if necessary) will be played at the high seed and game two (Friday) at the low seed. State tournament seeding will be determined the following weekend on Aug. 10-11. The three State qualifying teams will be re-seeded according to regular season record. The No. 2 and 3 teams will face each other on Friday with the winner playing the No. 1 seed Saturday for the region title and first round bye at the State tournament. State qualifiers will be rewarded with three draft picks each, which will be selected from the eight eliminated RVL teams.

You can follow the region with scoring updates by following @RVLbaseball on Twitter or by checking the St. Peter Saints website.

St. Peter Saints vs. Belle Plaine Tigers: Wednesday, Aug. 1 – 7:30 p.m. – Veterans Field, St. Peter

St. Peter enters region play for the third consecutive season as three-time RVL West champs. The Saints tallied a 10-5 regular season mark against RVL C opponents and boast a 17-9 overall record, including 10 consecutive wins at home.

Belle Plaine is making its sixth-straight trip to regions after winning the consolation round of the RVL Central playoffs. The Tigers went an even .500 (7-7) in the league and enter with a 17-12 overall record.

Two newcomers to the Saints – former Gustavus Adolphus standouts Ty Kaus and Shea Roehrkasse – lead the club offensively. Roehrkasse has a .373 average (31-83) with team-highs in on-base percentage (.475), doubles (10), home runs (2) and RBI (23). Kaus is hitting at a .338 clip (22-65) with a .419 on-base percentage and averages a run scored per game.

The one-two punch on the hill for the Saints has been second-year Jeff Wenner and veteran Jesse Anderson. The two have combined for 130 of the team’s 220 innings. Wenner is 6-1 in eight starts with a 1.87 ERA and a .199 opponent’s batting average. Anderson is 6-2 in nine starts with a 3.34 ERA and a 57:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

For Belle Plaine, catcher Pat Schultz leads the club at the plate with a .410 average (32-78). Leadoff hitter Travis Latzke has a .319 average (29-91) with a team-leading 15 stolen bases in 16 attempts.

On the rubber, Brad Lawson and Shane Hofmann have seen the most action, accounting for a combined 111 of the team’s 235 innings. Lawson has a 1.96 ERA with a 5-2 record in seven starts, while opponents are hitting just .192. Hofmann is also 5-2 in 10 starts. The veteran has allowed only 11 extra-base hits in 250 at-bats.

Chanhassen Red Birds vs. Gaylord Islanders: Wednesday, Aug. 1 – 7:30 p.m. – Storm Red Bird Stadium, Chanhassen

In just its third year as an organization, Chanhassen has reached regions each season. The Red Birds fell in the RVL Central title game to Jordan, earning the No. 2 seed. They went 10-4 in the league and are 19-11 overall.

Gaylord makes a return trip to regions for the first time since 2007 after sweeping Fairfax in the division playoffs. The Islanders went 7-8 in the league and are 11-10 overall after starting the season 2-9 – they have also won their last six games.

The Red Birds have a potent lineup with six starters boasting a .300-plus average. TJ Gulden leads the way at a .365 clip (31-85), while Justin Thompson has a .333 average (27-81), including a team-high .449 on-base percentage.

Thompson is also the ace of the pitching staff with a 5-0 record in seven starts and a 1.35 ERA. He has tossed 60 innings, opponents are hitting .164, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 70:12. Justin Kurth and Andrew Roy follow Thompson in the rotation, each with a 3-2 record. Kurth has a 4.53 ERA in 51 and two-thirds innings, while Roy has a 3.40 ERA in 45 frames.

As of July 15, the Islanders are led by Collin Grams at the plate with a .443 average (27-61). Three others have tallied .300-plus averages – Josh Gasow (.364), Jack Mages (.323) and Paul Mages (.321). The two Mages have combined for 33 of the club’s 97 RBI.

Brad Walsh and Trevor Vaubel is the Islanders one-two combo on the mound. Walsh has a 2.73 ERA with just one loss on the year, while Vaubel also has just one loss and a 2.55 ERA.

Chanhassen will have home-field advantage in the series since it won the regular season head-to-head match-up 8-4 back on May 13 in Chanhassen.

Jordan Brewers vs. Winthrop Eagles: Wednesday, Aug. 1 – 7:30 p.m. – Mini Met, Jordan

Jordan has been a constant power in the RVL as a Class B team and has found that same success in its first year at the Class C level. The Brewers went undefeated (14-0) in the league, topped off with an RVL Central crown over Chanhassen. The No. 8-ranked MBA Class C team enters at 26-10 overall. 

Winthrop has been known to go unnoticed throughout the regular season, only to turn it on come playoffs, and that turned out to be the case once again. The Eagles upset Fairfax with a two-game sweep in division playoffs earning their sixth trip to regions in the past 10 years. The Eagles went 3-12 in the league and enter with a 5-15 overall record, but they always seem to be a different team during the postseason.

The Brewers have a talented lineup with six regulars batting over .300. Adam Kalal paces the club at a .394 rate (28-71) with 20 walks in as many games played. Scott Hollingsworth has hit in every game but one with a .388 average (45-116), including team-highs in doubles (13), RBI (24), total bases (58) and slugging percentage (.500).

Hollingsworth is also the ace of the staff with a 1.53 ERA and 5-1 record. The veteran has tossed 59 innings and compiled 71 Ks compared to 17 walks. Mitch Bockenstedt and Alex Beckman round out the top three hurlers. Bockenstedt is 8-1 with a 1.92 ERA in 65 and two-thirds innings, while Beckman boasts a 3.94 ERA and 5-3 record after 59 and one-third innings. 

For the Eagles, speedster James Panning is hitting at a .460 rate (29-63), including a team-leading five doubles, one triple and 12 stolen bases. Scott Palmer is next in line with a .351 average (20-57) and a team-high nine RBI.

Billy Melius has been the club’s workhorse on the hill, starting 11 of its 20 games. He has a pedestrian 1-8 record and a 4.38 ERA. Palmer has been the other go-to on the hill with a 4-2 mark in seven starts and a 3.33 ERA. 

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