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

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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