Town Ball Classic at Target Field features rematch of Class C championship

By Nick Gerhardt

Scoremonster Contributor

news@mnbaseball.org

The Minnesota Twins are known for a walk-off win or two so it’ll be somewhat fitting to welcome the participants from last year’s thrilling Class C state tournament championship game and some others to Target Field for the annual Town Ball Classic.

The Town Ball Classic returns to Target Field May 26 with a meeting between the last year’s Class C state championship finalists Kimball and Lake Henry. Two-time defending Class B state champion Miesville will face Victoria and the day will conclude with an all-star game pitting the Minneapolis All-Stars against the St. Paul All-Stars.

The defending Class C champions Express will meet last year’s runners-up Lakers at 10 a.m. to start the day. Last year’s Class B state champion Miesville will face Victoria in the next game at 12:30 p.m. The day will conclude with a 3 p.m. game between the Minneapolis All-Stars of Class A and the St. Paul All-Stars of Class A.

Kimball won its first state title when Scott Marquardt hit a two-run, walk-off home run against Lake Henry in Green Isle for a 6-4 victory last season for the Class C championship. It’ll be a rare regular season meeting between the two teams who provided such a classic for a state championship.

“It’s a once-in a lifetime deal,” Kimball manager Tom Marquardt said. “It’s pretty special.”

Lake Henry Manager Keith Lieser echoed those sentiments and added that he expects to make a trip to the mound at least one time.

Kimball and Lake Henry did meet last season in a scrimmage leading up to the state tournament. Scott Marquardt faced Lake Henry draftee Brad Mergen from Farming and struck out in his plate appearance. Marquardt didn’t miss in the championship game as his shot to left field scored his brother, Brooks, who stood on second at the time he hit the game-winning homer.

The Lakers held a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning before an hour rain delay saw the Express’ bats wake up just in time.

Though the experience at Target Field will be one to remember, it will come at a busy time for both teams. Kimball has a Central Valley League game against Luxemburg the next day at 2 p.m. Lake Henry moved a game with Stearns County League foe Elrosa up to Friday at 8 p.m. to accommodate the game at Target Field. Both might be shorthanded as high school players from both teams might have to miss the game due to the start of the section playoffs.  

Kimball started this season ranked No. 1 in the Class C poll and has started the year 2-1. The Express lost their opener to Watkins 1-0 but have won their last two. Lake Henry is ranked No. 2 in the Class C poll and have started the year 3-1. The Lakers also lost their season opener 6-0 to St. Martin. 

Tickets for the event are $10 and entrance will be through Gate 29. The gate will open an hour before the game. Proceeds from the game will go to the Twins Community Fund, which is dedicated to getting more kids in the game by providing resources and programs to communities across the state.

There is no reserved seating at Target Field and concessions will be open.

For more information, contact Ruth Hesse at ruthhesse@twinsbaseball.com

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