1994 Class "C" State Champions -- State Runner Up 1948 - 1952 – 1991 -- Five Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Members 1994 Class "C" State Champions -- State Runner Up 1948 - 1952 – 1991 -- Five Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Members

Tigers Host Tourney,
Now Off to Two Others



--by Brett Kruschke & Matt Ruehling

Another Tigertown Classic is in the books – this one, the 22nd (or so), with 10 games over three days, long days at the ballyard and probably one too many pork burgers. The Tigers won once and lost twice, raising their season winning percentage (2-10, 0-5 RVL).

Over the next two weekends, the Tigers – who work approximately 100 game shifts when covering the Classic – will now get to enjoy being the guests at the Miller Lite Invite in Green Isle and Hamburg, and at the Hinckley (MN) Invitational.

The Tigers will start out on Saturday with the Isanti Redbirds at 11 am in Green Isle. Against either Carver or Chokio, our lads will play again on Saturday – at 3:30 pm if a loss, at 5:45 pm with a win. Either way, the game will again be at GI’s Irish Yard.

Depending how things unfold, the Tigers could play twice more on Sunday. Follow bptigertown.com or our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter to stay abreast of the details.

As for the Tigertown Classic, the Waconia Lakers took the title with wins over the Shakopee Coyotes (11-0), the Minnesota Lake Royals – winning 5-4 after trailing 4-0 – and 9-3 over fellow Crow River Valley League competitors, the Hamburg Hawks. Find the final results at bptigertown.com/TTCl.htm.

Minnesota Lake 5 @ BP 4 (Friday, June 11 – 9 innings)

Minnesota Lake jumped on Tiger starter Colton Kerkow for four runs in the second inning, with the key blow a three-run double by fellow pitcher, Sam Bennett. Kerkow settled down nicely thereafter.

The Tiger Train didn’t get busy until their final three outs, when Jon Schimdt’s RBI double cut the deficit to 4-2 while putting runners at second and third base with nobody out. A balk and a sacrifice fly later, we were headed to extra innings (remember: tourney games are only seven innings).

The Royals’ Ethan Sindelir single-handedly produced the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, ripping a ground-rule double, advancing to third base on an infield single and then making a daring dash home on a wild pitch that just beat the throw.

After making such a heartening rally in the seventh, the Tigers were one hit away from victory in both the eighth and ninth, but each inning ended with the bases loaded. The disappointment of the moment caused all Tiger Alumni in attendance to jettison the ballpark (just kidding – I think) while setting up a stinker of a team photo opportunity.

Kerkow was his own best help, leading the locals with three hits. Josh Terrio collected two.


Shakopee Coyotes 2 @ BP 6 (Saturday, June 12)

Perennial power threat Zak Hoffman got the Coyotes off on the right foot right away, belting a home run for a 2-0 lead. Belle Plaine’s Tyler O’Brien soon answered in kind, clanking one off the scoreboard to tie things up, 2-2.

In the third inning, Los Tigros finally got the hits they were looking for late in Friday night’s game when they batted around, scoring five times on four hits. Rookie Ben Groff delivered a two-out, two-run single to highlight the rally.

Jon Schmidt, who just so happens to wear Babe Ruth’s No. 3 jersey – of course, Jeff Gansen’s, as well – clubbed yet another extra-base hit, this time a triple, before scoring on a wild pitch for a 6-2 lead.

That’s where the score would stay, as Jake Mercado completed five impressive relief innings to close out the victory. The talented “college ballplayer” allowed no runs, just two hits and struck out eight.

Brothers Tyler & Jamie OBrien

Minneapolis Mudcats 11 @ BP 5 (Sunday, June 13)

The Tigers started out sluggish and were not able to bounce back against the Melchior-laden Minneapolis Mudcats. Zac Dahlke got the start on the mound and labored through three innings as if heavy with child. (He’s actually in the best shape of his life, but the metaphor was convenient.)

The Mudcats scored eight runs across the first three innings, plating at least one run in each of the first five innings. Tyler O’Brien came in for relief of Dahlke, impressively recording half of his 12 outs via strikeout.

Kerkow and O’Brien lead the Tigers offensively. O’Brien had a double and three RBI, while Kerkow stayed hot with another two knocks. Josh Terrio, Jamie O’Brien, Groff and Garrett Boblitt all had one hit.

Tiger historian Tom Melchior & Gerry Mize Meyer


Tigertown Classic Tournament this Weekend


 2021 TT Cl trophy.jpg

--by Brett Kruschke

After two more losses last weekend, the Tiger Wagon is limping along with a 1-8 record (0-5 River Valley League). Perhaps the ghosts of Tiger Past, some of whom will be appearing at Tiger Park this weekend and particularly on Friday night, can resurrect some of the club’s former glory.

Jake Mercado pitches vs Jordan 002.jpg

The Tigers were overpowered at home by an always-excellent Jordan club on Friday, before watching a big lead turn into disaster at Le Sueur on Sunday.

The 22nd (mostly) annual Tigertown Classic tournament is this weekend, with the host Tigers getting things started against former fan favorite Brad Lawson and the Minnesota Lake Royals at 6:30 pm. Friday is also Tiger Alumni Night, as all former players will receive free admission and a refreshment (or two) for their troubles.

Waconia and the Shakopee Coyotes will entertain the fans at 8:30 pm in the evening’s second game. Saturday offers a five-game slate at Tiger Park, starting at 10:30 am when the Minneapolis Melchiors (Mudcats) take on a first-time entrant, the North Branch Nighthawks. Hamburg and Greenwald will resolve their differences at 12:45 pm, with games also to follow at approximately 3 pm, 5:15 pm and 7:30 pm.

If Los Tigros win Friday, they’ll play at 7:30 pm Saturday; with a loss, at 5:15 pm. Stay tuned to bptigertown.com and twitter.com/bptigertown for all the latest. The tournament will conclude on Sunday with games at 11 am, 1:15 pm and the championship at 3:30 pm.

Jordan 6 @ BP 1 (Friday, June 4)

Tigers_mound_meeting_vs_JordanIn seeking their 20th straight triumph over the Tigers, Jordan rolled out crusty veteran Scott Hollingsworth – who simply looked as good as if the clock were turned back 10 years. The former minor-league right-hander tossed six frames of three-hit ball, allowing one run while ringing up eight strikeouts.

The Brew Crew jumped on Tiger starter Jake Mercado for two runs in the first inning, but the fellow right-hander – fresh off a memorable run with his collegiate St. Mary’s team – settled down quickly and kept the score in place until allowing single tallies in the fifth and sixth. Although hung with the loss, Mercado nonetheless proved worthy of working towards the top of the Tiger rotation as the season unfolds.

Alex Beckman relieved Hollingsworth and didn’t allow a run or hit in grabbing the three-inning save. Colton Kerkow (2 IP, 2 R) and Jon Schmidt (1 IP, 0 R) served as the clean-up crew for Belle Plaine.

The Tiger book credited four hits, with those belonging to Mercado, Schmidt, Josh Terrio and Carsen Ladd – the latter of whom also ripped a couple of line-outs.

Jake Mercado pitches vs Jordan.jpg

BP 8 @ Le Sueur 13 (Sunday, June 6)

While details remain sketchy and may forevermore be so regarding Sunday’s licking in Le Sueur, what we do know is already enough to leave a mental scar.

Team Tigertown scored four times before the Braves batted, then added three more tallies in the fourth for a 7-0 lead. The Braves finally shot back in the fifth, scoring four times for a 7-4 BP advantage.

A three-run tater from Mitch Casperson tied the game, 7-7, and the not-so-friendly host went whammy one more time before all was said and done. Le Sueur’s Burke Nesbit was another beast with the bat, totaling 10 bases while contributing four scoreless on the hill.

Brody Curtiss started for BP but went just two innings. Carsen Ladd and Zac Dahlke collected (at least) two hits each.

2021_TTCL bracket

Le Sueur Elongates Tiger Lull
 Derek Dahlke rips a double

--by Brett Kruschke & Jack Gill

After a 7-0 loss to Le Sueur last Wednesday, the Tigers fell to 1-6 on the season (0-3 River Valley League). Things won’t get any easier when the Jordan Brewers – the long-time class of the RVL ‘C’ teams – pull into Tiger Park on Friday for a 7:30 pm tilt.

Friday’s promotion is Matt Saxe Chevrolet Night. Perhaps they will provide the bullpen car of which we’ve long dreamed!

On Sunday, Team Tigertown will meet up again with their fellow French-named counterparts when they trek to Le Sueur for a 2 pm affair on Sunday.

As always, visit bptigertown.com regularly and follow the Tigers on Twitter and Facebook at bptigertown.

Zac Dahlke pitching

Le Sueur 7 @ BP 0 (Wednesday, May 26)

Tigers southpaw Zac Dahlke found himself in trouble right out of the gate, as the Braves got a runner to third base on a walk, a steal and an overthrow. Tommy Gupton brought him in with an infield single. Mitch Casperson responded with a single of his own, bringing the runner to third.

Clean-up hitter – and opposing pitcher – Tristen O’Brien followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Dahlke allowed another walk before the Braves pulled off a double steal. With both runners in scoring position, Logan Kahlow belted a double to extend Le Sueur’s lead to four runs. 

O’Brien worked four scoreless innings, allowing one hit, four walks, and five strikeouts. Belle Plaine’s only hit in the first four frames came from a Derek Dahlke double to left.

Meanwhile, Dahlke gave up a bases-loaded walk in the second inning to make it 5-0. But after those first two costly innings, the portsider got in a groove and retired seven straight batters. The Braves got a runner on in the fifth from an error, but the next batter hit into a double play. Dahlke finished his five-inning outing allowing five runs, four hits and three walks, with four strikeouts. 

In the later innings, the Tigers continued to be stuck with zero runs, this time continued by Burke Nesbit. Nesbit threw five scoreless frames, allowing just one hit and one walk with eight strikeouts. Belle Plaine’s only hit-off Nesbit was a Carsen Ladd single.

Josh Terrio pitched the fifth and most of the sixth inning for the Tigers. After a few more errors, the Braves tacked on two more runs. After Terrio left the game with an injury, Garrett Boblitt cruised through the Braves lineup the rest of the way going 2.1 innings, allowing no hits and three walks with four strikeouts.

Garrett Boblitt at-bat


Tigers Doubled Up at Gaylord


--by Brett Kruschke & Matt Ruehling

The Tiger town teamers lost their only game of the past week, falling 4-2 at Gaylord on Sunday. Belle Plaine is 1-5 overall this season, with a 0-2 mark in River Valley League play.

With Memorial Day Weekend coming up, the Tigers will play just once again this week. Le Sueur is in town tonight (May 26) at 7:30 pm, with the Tigers hoping to pick up their first RVL win.

Tonight will also be RTL Construction Night, with each fan receiving a free hot dog, drink and pop – courtesy of our friends at RTL.

The schedule kicks into full swing in June. Until then, keep up with the Tigers at bptigertown.com and by the same handle on Twitter and Facebook.


BP 2 @ Gaylord 4 – Sunday, May 23

The Tigers got off to a quick start in Gaylord, getting a first-inning single from Josh Terrio followed by an RBI double by Derek Dahlke. Dahlke then took the mound and held the Islanders scoreless until the third inning, when Gaylord took the lead on a two-run double by McKoy Rodning.

Jon Schmidt stayed hot with a leadoff solo homerun in the fourth frame – his second tater of the season, and second of his career, and the only two Tiger long balls this season.

Gaylord scored the final two runs of the night with a solo homerun of their own in the sixth – off the bat of No. 3 hitter, Erik Goetsch – before adding an insurance run in the seventh.

Dahlke led the way on the mound, working six innings with eight strikeouts, allowing three runs (one earned). Terrio, meanwhile, was the only Belle Plainer with multiple hits, collecting a pair of singles.


Jon Schmidt


 Tigers Grab
First "W" at Webster

 Tigers @ Webster (2).jpg

--by Brett Kruschke & Matt Ruehling

The Tigers fell to 0-4 on Friday after a weak effort in Watertown, with each loss this season seemingly getting to be worse than the last. Saturday was a much-needed salve for Team Tigertown, therefore, as the locals held off Webster in a well-played game.

Friday’s home game against Green Isle has been cancelled, we’re sorry to report, as a lack of available players for May games continues to be a growing concern for Minnesota Baseball Association teams. And that by no means excludes your home-town Tigers, who have had to get more creative in recent seasons than had previously been the custom.

El Tigre will at least take the field at 6 pm Sunday in Gaylord, seeking to even their RVL record at 1-1.

Please note that RTL Construction Night, previously scheduled for this Friday, will now be held on Wednesday, May 26. As per usual, each fan in attendance will receive a free hot dog, pop and chips, courtesy of RTL.

Tigers @ Watertown (1).jpg

BP 0 @ Watertown 11 (Friday, May 14 – 5 innings)

The lights never turned on in Watertown for the Tigers – on or off the field.

Trailing big early, a bank of lights closest to home plate gave out in the fourth inning. Not only did the Tigers have no runs, but they didn’t even have a hit yet – and due to the lighting situation, it was quickly agreed that the game would end the game after five innings.

No, the Tigers didn’t get a hit in the mildly-fateful fifth, either. Most folks would call that a no-hitter. Except for Major League Baseball?! I guess we’ll have to defer to them on this one …

The Tigers only had three baserunners in the game, coming on two hit batsmen and a walk.

Tigers @ Watertown (2).jpg

Mitch Stier came out of his premature retirement and labored through four innings on the hill, walking or hitting a combined 11 Watertown batters. Stier’s “cutter” had a little bit of movement – too much so, apparently – although he notched three punchouts in four innings.

BP 6 @ Webster 4 (Saturday, May 15)

There were no lighting issues in Webster; just bright sunshine. So bright, that Zac Dahlke lost two fly balls in the sun!

With the weather warming up, so did the Tigers bats. A two-out single in the first inning from previously-retired Matt Schultz got the scoring going early. Webster matched the Tigers run for run, however, through five innings.

Fireworks flew in the third when Jon Schmidt hit his first Tigertown home run – also, the first circuit clout for the Tigers this year. Webster answered in the home-half with a bomb of its own, however.

Josh Terrio gave Belle Plaine the lead with an RBI single in the sixth. Schmidt stayed hot in the ninth inning, adding an insurance run with an RBI double. Other offensive leaders were Schultz with two hits, while Zac Dahlke was on base four times despite taking just two hacks in five at-bats.

Colton Kerkow lead the way on the mound, getting the win with five relief innings. He yielded just one run and struck out seven.

Tigers @ Webster (3)


Thinned-Out Tigers Taking Early-Season Lumps

 5-7-2021 Tigers vs New Prague BEHIND HOME

--by Brett Kruschke & Matt Ruehling

The Town Tigers fell to 0-3 on the season – all at home – after a punchless 9-1 loss to New Prague on Friday night. Saturday’s game at St. Benedict was canceled and will not be rescheduled.

The cavalry is on the way for Team Tigertown, as college ballplayers near the conclusion of their seasons, but so far it’s been a patchwork quilt for the locals. Perhaps the experience gained by players not normally in a full-squad lineup will pay off down the road.

With a youth tournament in town, the Tigers will be on the road this weekend and looking for a pair of “W’s”: Friday is a 7:30 pm game at Watertown, while Saturday is set for 2 pm at Webster.

Stick with your boys; follow ‘em to the aforementioned towns, or at least follow ‘em on the Twitter machine: twitter.com/bptigertown. And don’t forget the mothership, at bptigertown.com.

5-7-2021 Tigers vs New Prague FINAL SCORE.jpg

New Prague 9 @ BP 1 (Friday, May 7)

The Tigers started out cold on a brisk night at Tiger Park and never warmed up. Carsen Ladd got the start on the mound, and after a two-run double and an error, the Tigers were down by three runs before they stepped to the plate.

Ladd, Josh Terrio and Derek Dahlke held the Orioles to one run over the next six innings, with the latter collecting all six of his outs via strikeout.

The flood gates opened up in the eighth inning, however, when the Orioles tacked on five more runs – six, due to free passes.

Offensively, the Tigers scored their lone run in the ninth inning with Jon Schmidt’s run-scoring double. Schmidt, Dahlke, and Colton Kerkow notched the hits for the Belle Plaine cause.

5-7-2021 Tigers vs New Prague PRESS BOX

Youthful Tigers Taken to School

 Chase Emmers pitches

--by Brett Kruschke & Jack Gill  

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.

lights out vs Glencoe

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 out!

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 involvement.)

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.

Jake Brandenburg bats

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.

Jon Schmidt pitching

Arlington 8 @ BP 3 (Sunday, May 2)

The town 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.

After 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.

Joey 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.

In the 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 win.

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.

Most 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.

Eric & Joey Burgemeister 


Town Tigers Open Season at Home this Weekend

 Brody Curtiss HR vs Waterville at Blue Earth

--by Brett Kruschke 

A full season of Belle Plaine Tigers town-team baseball returns this weekend with a pair of contests scheduled at Tiger Park. (Unless it doesn’t. But it should! For sure. We think …)

On Friday night, the Glencoe Brewers of the Crow River Valley League will kick off the season at 7:30 pm. It’s your old favorite, Dollar Dog Night, meaning $1 hot dogs for the course of the game.

On Sunday, the River Valley League schedule begins with a visit from the Arlington A’s at 2 pm. The promotion is Edina Realty (Susy Dahlke) and Edina Realty Mortgage (Shane Hofmann) Day, which means FREE root-beer floats and prizes!

Shane Hofmann Mortage

Because of Covid-19 concerns, the Minnesota Baseball Association didn’t allow play last season until mid-June. The Tigers opened June 17 at Green Isle and ended on August 15 in Blue Earth, with an extra-inning loss to Waterville in Region 6C play.

The campaign closed with a 10-7 record – yet another double-digit win season for field manager Matt Ruehling – including a 7-5 mark in the RVL.

After taking a year off, season tickets are back for 2021! The cost has increased to $35, and it is the only season ticket for sale. (“Dugout Club” season tickets will no longer be sold.) Single-game ticket prices are $4 for ages 18-64, $2 for ages 12-17 and 65-plus, while ages 11 and under get in free. Be sure to also grab a traditional pocket schedule at the ticket gate or Brad’s Barber Shop.

Visit bptigertown.com for this season’s player roster and the rest of the season schedule with promotions – and lots more. Can’t make the game? Follow along at twitter.com/bptigertown.

See you at the ballpark!


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