The town Tigers were glad to be back at the
ballpark last weekend but got off on the wrong foot, blowing a
last-inning lead against Glencoe before suffering a lopsided league loss
to upstart Arlington.
The Tigers will be at home again this Friday, as
the New Prague Orioles will be in town for a 7:30 pm tilt on Dollar Beer
Night. Please note that Saturday’s game at St. Benedict has been
cancelled and will not be rescheduled, as the BPHS Tigers play in the
afternoon and combined with other player absences, it would have left
the Tigers too shorthanded to play.
The following weekend consists of a pair of road
games, so be sure to come out this Friday night and take in the action.
Remember also that you may follow along at Twitter.com/bptigertown, and
visit regularly the Tiger web hub, bptigertown.com.
Glencoe 3 @ BP 2 (Friday, April 30)
We’ve long said that Opening Night is the weirdest
game of the year. For starters, the Tigers were playing in April for the
first time since 2012 (St. Benedict, April 27).
Next, we won’t name names, but the national anthem
was botched in the press box when the song wasn’t readied in time by the
crew. (We do apologize.) Then, just when things got rolling for a few
innings and normalcy had returned … half of the ballpark lights went
This has happened before, you may recall … a couple
of times, in fact, in recent years. The good news is that Tiger Park is
getting new lighting this year. And, we were lucky to have a couple City
of Belle Plaine employees on hand and willing to help.
Within half an hour, the game had resumed – but not
before the managers mutually agreed to shorten the game to seven
innings, in deference to the delay, plus because of an early game
looming for Glencoe the next day. (Bottom line, though: this is
abnormal, and has not occurred in this writer’s 30 years of
Let’s not forget the game itself. Chase Emmers
started on the hill for Belle Plaine, working three scoreless innings.
Zac “The Most Dashing” Dahlke followed suit with three more goose eggs,
priming him for his first victory since 2014.
Pat Schultz, a catcher in his 24th season, has
fancied himself a pitcher in recent years, pumping batting-practice
fastballs and the occasional “jugular ball” that the catcher has to
block – in this case, field manager Matt Ruehling, who figured if Pat
can pitch, I can sure as heck catch.
Well, Tiger fans, I don’t have to tell you that the
Brewers plated three runs in the seventh – benefitting also from a
painful pair of Tiger errors – sending the dollar-dog-eating fans home
with a sour, if not salty, taste in their mouths.
With all respect, it was also strange that a
high-school sophomore, playing in his first town-team game, led the way
with two hits. That kid is Jake Brandenburg, who drove in a run with a
bases-loaded knock with two down in the fifth.
Arlington 8 @ BP 3 (Sunday, May 2)
Tigers battled the Arlington A’s Sunday afternoon in their first River
Valley League matchup of the season. Arlington’s Austin Brockhoff got it
going early for the A’s, with a two-run bloop single to centerfield off
Tigers pitcher Jon Schmidt. They tacked on two more tallies, as well,
thanks to a bases-loaded fielder’s choice and a base rip from Lukas
Bullert. Arlington led 4-0 through two innings.
Schmidt started to settle in, Brandenburg provided some run support with
a big bases-loaded double in the fifth. The rookie’s knock brought in
two base runners, cutting the lead in half. After five frames, Josh
Terrio took over for Schmidt on the mound.
Burgemeister brought in Lucas O’Brien with a double of his own in the
sixth, making it a one-run ballgame. Terrio cruised through his first
two innings before running into some trouble in the eighth. Arlington
added got three insurance runs on four singles, extending their lead to
7-3 after 8 innings.
ninth, Carsen Ladd came in to pitch. Nick Doetkott put an exclamation
mark on the A’s evening with a drive over the fence in left for a solo
shot. For Arlington, Dan Chies pitched six solid innings and earned the
It was not
the result we all wanted, but on the bright side, young studs
Burgemeister and Brandenburg showed some promise at the plate for a
combined four hits. Terrio, a stud in his own right, also had two.
memorably for Burgemeister, a BPHS senior and a second-year town teamer,
is that he got to play with his father, Eric, who signed on for the day
and caught all nine innings. Eric drew a walk and also got in the hit
column. Joey led off while dad batted cleanup.