Tigers Waylaid by Waterville,
Finish a Game Short of
--by Brett Kruschke
& Rachel Miller
For the second year in a row, a very good season
for the Belle Plaine Tigers came to an end at the hands of the 13-60
League’s Waterville Indians in the Region 6C Tournament.
Last year, Team Tigertown led the Indians by a
run with six outs to go before falling, 5-4; this year, a pitcher’s duel
carried a scoreless game into the sixth inning before Waterville broke
through and kept the pedal down, 8-0.
Adding to the pain of Saturday’s season-ending
loss is that the Tigers opened this year’s region playoffs with a 5-2
win over this same Waterville squad. But the Indians would once again
have the last word.
Of course, each of the last two years also
included a region semifinals loss to Jordan – last year, 6-0, and this
year – on Tuesday, August 8 – 10-0. In between those contests was a
rousing 15-5 triumph over Morristown at Mankato’s ISG Field, the first
of BP’s two games on Saturday – with Waterville the second contest of
One Tiger was taken in the Region 6C draft:
Derek Dahlke, to the Blue Earth Pirates.
The Plainesmen took second place in the West
Division of the River Valley League, with their 8-4 record trailing only
the perennially first-place Jordan Brewers. The Tigers’ final record was
16-11 – with the most memorable event an 8-2 win over Jordan to snap its
25-game winning streak over your local nine.
This year is the 100th Minnesota State Amateur
Baseball Tournament, and it will be played over the next three weekends
in Dassel, Delano, Litchfield, and Waconia. Check out these beautiful
ballparks and be sure to follow along at mnbaseball.org and
In 2024, Belle Plaine will be under the
spotlight as it will host the state tournament with Jordan and Green
Isle. You can find us on Facebook at
facebook.com/BPJordan2014 and on Twitter at
and don’t forget the familiar hub, bptigertown.com.
See you at the ballpark next spring!
BP 0 @ Jordan 10
(Tuesday, August 8 –
7 innings, Region 6C semifinals)
Jordan was the favorite going into the game, as they have only lost one
game out of 26 to the Tigers, and the one loss occurred this season,
when the Tigers beat them 8-2 on June 24.
Jordan opened Tuesday night’s game by scoring single runs in the first
and second innings. The Tigers unfortunately struggled on offense, and
never sent more than four batters to the plate in any given inning. They
did however, manage to hold the Brewers to a 2-0 lead through the fifth
The sixth, however, saw the Brewers extend the lead with six runs. The
inning started good, with the Tigers getting outs on the first two
batters. But the game quickly got away from them, and the Brewers would
send 11 more batters to the plate before the Tigers nabbed a flyout to
end the inning.
The Tigers walked Steve Beckman, and what followed was a hitting
marathon, as Brewers Afton Koch, Brandon Arnold, Joe Lucas, Dylan
Peterson and Nate Beckman all hit singles. Jonathan Draheim followed up
with a double, and the next two batters were walked and hit by a pitch.
The Tigers gave up six runs that inning, including one unearned run, to
fall behind 8-0.
The Brewers ended the game early in the seventh via the 10-run rule, as
Peterson and Nate Beckman each earned an RBI, and extended the lead to
BP 15 vs. Morristown 5 at Mankato
(Saturday, August 12 – 8 innings, Region 6C)
To reach the rematch with the Indians, the
Tigers first had to go through Morristown.
This time, the Tigers dominated early, using 19
hits, four walks or hit batters and three errors to earn a big 15-5 win
over Morristown early Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers wasted little time, and used hits
from O’Brien, Curtiss and Campbell, along with two hit batters, a
sacrifice fly from Terrio and a Morristown error to jump to a 5-0 lead
in the bottom of the second inning.
Morristown closed the lead to 5-3 after the
third, and 5-4 after the top of the fourth, but Belle Plaine responded
by quickly pulling away. An error, walk to Terrio, sacrifice from Derek
Hoffman and Campbell single helped push two more runs across, extending
the lead to 7-3.
The Tigers held Morristown in the fourth, then
tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the fourth, largely unearned.
Belle Plaine sent 10 batters to the plate this
inning, but only had one hit. Morristown’s pitcher was really
struggling, and walked six batters for three runs. Hoffman hit an RBI
single to score the one earned run.
Now leading 10-4, the Tigers gave up one final
run in the sixth to Morristown, but scored once in the seventh and four
more times in the eighth to end the game via the 10-run rule.
While the fourth was primarily unearned runs,
the eighth was the opposite. O’Brien opened with a double, Ladd and
Dahlke sandwiched singles in between a flyout from Curtiss, and Terrio
hit a game-winning double.
BP 0 vs. Waterville 8 at Mankato
(Saturday, August 12, Region 6C)
Tigers opened the Region 6C playoffs against Waterville Aug. 5, and
earned a 5-2 victory. But Waterville appeared to have learned its lesson
and were much tougher in Saturday's rematch. So tough, that the first
five innings passed without a single run being scored.
isn't to say the Tigers didn't try. They came close in the top of the
third, as Waterville walked Tyler O'Brien, and gave up a single to
Carsen Ladd to put runners on first and second with one out. The
hard-hitting Brody Curtiss then stepped to the plate, and a fielder's
choice resulted in Ladd being out at second, although Curtiss and
O'Brien were safe at first and third. Unfortunately, Derek Dahlke struck
out, ending the inning.
Tigers were in a similar position in the sixth inning, as Dahlke was
walked, advanced to second when Josh Terrio was hit by a pitch, and slid
into third ahead of the throw on a Derek Hoffman flyout. Terrio stole
second, but Jac Campbell struck out looking, again leaving the Tigers
one hit shy of scoring.
Indians followed that up by breaking the stalemate in the bottom of the
sixth inning. They used four hits, including two doubles and a two-RBI
single, a walk and stolen base to take a 4-0 lead.
Waterville went on to score two more runs in both the seventh and eighth
innings to secure the win and the #3 seed for the state tournament.
are a young team, we have a few things to figure out, but hopefully we
can return and make a run next year," Coach Jason Ladd said of his
Tigers Top Waterville,
for State Berth
--by Brett Kruschke
The Tigers have slayed some demons this
season, so to speak, defeating Jordan for the first time in a decade in
June before whisking past Waterville on Saturday – a team that had
beaten Belle Plaine in three straight postseason meetings, including
ending the locals’ season in 2020 and 2022 (5-4 both times).
After Saturday’s 5-2 win over Waterville –
thanks to three two-out, ninth-inning runs – the Tigers advanced to face
Jordan on Sunday at the Mini Met. The full day of games was washed out,
however, pushing the game to Tuesday night (August 8).
After 25 straight losses and 3,639 days before
it last beat the Brewers, could Team Tigertown slay the dragon for a
second straight time this season – which would also clinch a state
tournament berth? If you haven’t heard the result since reading this,
visit “BPTigertown” on the web or social media.
If Belle Plaine won on Tuesday night, it will be
playing in Saturday night’s Region 6C championship game (7:00 pm)
against Blue Earth or Gaylord at ISG Field in Mankato. With a loss, the
Tigers will play at 11 am Saturday at ISG Field – and it will need a
second win that day, at 4 pm, to make the state tournament.
Since starting the season with a 2-4 record, El
Tigre has gone 13-5. Since June 22, the Tigers are 10-3 – with each loss
coming by one run (Gaylord, St. Peter, Le Sueur) while outscoring their
Belle Plaine’s overall season record entering
Tuesday’s tilt at Jordan is 15-9.
BP 5 vs. Waterville 2 @ Jordan (Saturday,
August 5 – Region 6C Tournament)
In last year’s season-ending loss to Waterville,
the pitching matchup was Indians big left-hander Dalton Grose against
BP’s big-game ace Brody Curtiss. And so it was once again on this fine
afternoon at Jordan’s revamped Mini Met.
The Tigers started fast, scoring twice in the
first inning. Leadoff hitter Tyler O’Brien doubled and was soon knocked
in on a Curtiss single. After Jake Brandenburg plated Derek Dahlke, it
was 2-0 for the visiting team according to Jay, the Mini Met’s
dependable scoreboard keeper for 35 years running.
The Tiger Train had six hits through three
innings, with right fielder Derek Hoffman keeping Waterville at zero in
the scoring column thanks a tremendous run-saving catch to end the
The Indians got their first run off Curtiss in
the fourth and bagged another in the fifth to tie the score at 2-2.
After a mound conference, the Tiger right-hander reached back for a
little extra to strand runners at second and third.
Curtiss tossed one more scoreless frame before
turning it over to “Every Game” Colton Kerkow, who was once again
rock-solid with two scoreless stanzas.
With two outs in the top of the ninth and the
score still tied at two, Dahlke delivered a base hit to the outfield.
Curtiss advanced to third base, then scampered home just in time as the
ball slipped out of the defender’s hand as he attempted to throw it.
A Jared Miller triple scored Dahlke, with a Jake
Brandenburg base hit pushing the lead to 5-2. Dahlke worked the ninth
for his second straight save – and just his second of the year.
Tigers Advance After
--by Brett Kruschke
The RVL playoffs were one heck of a roller
coaster ride, but at the end of the day, the Tigers found a way to
advance to the Region 6C Tournament.
Belle Plaine opened the seven-team RVL West
playoffs last Wednesday as the No. 2 seed, but were tripped up in the
opening round, 6-5, by the No. 7-seed Le Sueur Braves. That meant the
Tigers had to win twice to keep their season alive.
First came a 3-1 win over St. Clair on Friday,
followed by a 6-5 nailbiter over St. Peter – after leading 6-0 entering
the eighth inning, not to mention escaping the frame with the bases
Thanks to their No. 2 seed, however, all three
of BP’s RVL West playoff games came at Tiger Park – an advantage that
shouldn’t be forgotten.
The four RVL teams advancing to the Region 6C
tournament are: No. 1 Jordan, No. 2 Gaylord, No. 3 Belle Plaine, and No.
4 Le Sueur. The four 13-60 League seeds are No. 1 Blue Earth, No. 2
Waterville, No. 3 Morristown, and No. 4 Waseca.
Team Tigertown will carry its 14-9 record into
Saturday’s 4:30 pm matchup against the Waterville Indians at Jordan’s
Mini Met. Belle Plaine will also play at Jordan on Sunday: with a win on
Saturday, at 7 pm against the Brewers or the Waseca Braves; with a loss
on Saturday, at 1:30 pm against the aforementioned loser.
Follow @BPTigertown and @RVLBaseball on Twitter
for updates throughout the weekend – and don’t forget the mothership:
The Region 6C Tournament will conclude on
Saturday, August 12, with all four games at ISG Field in Mankato. The
top three seeds from eight-team Region 6C will advance to the 100th
state tournament in Dassel, Delano, and Litchfield.
Le Sueur 6 @ BP 5 (Wednesday, July 26)
Brody Curtiss got the ball for Belle Plaine
while Mitch Casperson took it for Le Sueur. The Tigertown Express smoked
Le Sueur twice during the regular season, 13-4 and 15-5, so they had to
be feeling pretty good after taking a 3-0 lead in the second inning when
Derek Dahlke, Jared Miller, and Josh Terrio opened the frame with
The Braves trailed 3-0 after three innings but
in similar fashion, they started the fourth inning with four straight
hits. Highlighted by a two-run single just inside the first-base bag by
Tommy Gupton, Le Sueur snatched a 4-3 lead.
Casperson delivered what proved to be the
decisive blow with a two-run double in the fifth inning, which proved to
be Curtiss’ final frame. Colton Kerkow threw three scoreless innings and
Dahkle, one, to keep things at bay.
The BP bats added runs in the fifth and seventh,
but couldn’t push a sixth run across. The Tigers played error-free ball
on the night but were outhit, 15-7. Dahlke, Miller, and Tyler O’Brien
each had two hits.
St. Clair 1 @ BP 3 (Friday, July 28)
While the Gray Tigers were rewriting the history
books in Le Center, sane people gathered at Tiger Park for some
do-or-die playoff baseball. El Tigre had an ace up its old sleeveless
jerseys in Hunter Hoen, and the young buck once again delivered a
Hoen worked 6.1 innings of one-run ball,
striking out 11 en route to the win. Kerkow closed things out, and has
found that game planning is so much easier when you know you’re going to
pitch every game. Chalk up save No. 2 for Blakeley’s best.
Curtiss contributed the game’s biggest hit, a
two-run single, while Jake Brandenburg went 2-for-2 with a pair of runs
St. Peter 5 @ BP 6 (Sunday, July 30)
The Tigers and Saints split a pair of one-run
games during the regular season – a 10-9 BP win at home, and a 4-3 loss
at St. Peter – and this one proved to be more of the same high-level
Jared Miller got the call for the locals while
St. Peter handed the ball to lanky right-hander Christian Ash, the
latter of whom was greeted in the first by a two-run Dahlke double. The
Tigers stranded runners at second and third, however – the first of a
The Tiger Train left the bases loaded in the
second inning, scoring no runs, and in the fourth frame, when they
grabbed a pair of tallies. One of those runs came in on a Dahlke RBI
The striped warriors took a 6-0 lead in the
sixth when – guess who? – Derek Dahlke, delivered his third circuit
clout of the season, a two-run shot.
Jared Miller was on cruise control and carried a
shutout into the eighth inning when, after starting the inning with a
routine 6-3 groundout, the Saints suddenly got religion. It went like
this: error, walk, hit batsman, hit batsman, single – and a pitching
change, Kerkow for Miller. After Kerkow’s first batter walked with the
bases loaded, Dahlke was summoned to put out the fire.
After a strikeout, Josh Robb ripped a two-run
single to cut the Tiger lead to 6-5. After another St. Peter single, a
bases-loaded strikeout finally ended the inning – but not before the
Saints scored five runs while sending 11 men to the plate.
Dahlke allowed a one-out single in the ninth but
struck out the side, allowing Tiger fans to exhale, survive and advance.
Tigers Open Playoffs with Pair of Home
--by Brett Kruschke
The Town Tigers closed out the regular season
last weekend with two narrow league wins, over Arlington and Le Sueur,
securing the No. 2 seed in the RVL playoffs – and a pair of home games.
The first contest is tonight, on Wednesday (July
26), as the No. 7-seed Le Sueur Braves will visit Tiger Park at 7:30 pm.
Win or lose, the Tigers will play at home again on Friday at 7:30 pm,
against either No. 3 St. Clair or No. 6 Gaylord. (The high seed is the
home team through the double-elimination RVL playoffs.)
Sunday is the final day of the RVL West (Class
C) Playoffs; those games are scheduled for 6 pm unless the home team
doesn’t have lights. Check “RVLBaseball” on Twitter for an update.
The top four teams from this playoff will
advance to the Region 6C Tournament, which begins August 5, and is
joined by four teams from the 13-60 League. The RVL West playoffs have
seven teams instead of eight, it should be noted, since the Henderson
Tigers folded earlier this season.
The Tigers will carry a 12-8 record (8-4) into
the playoffs. The final RVL standings: Jordan 11-1 (only loss to the
Tigers), Belle Plaine 8-4, St. Clair 7-5, Arlington 5-7, St. Peter 5-7,
Gaylord 3-9, Le Sueur 3-9.
BP 5 @ Gaylord 3 (Friday, July 21)
The Tigers came into
Friday’s game at Gaylord seeking revenge for a 3-2 setback on June 29 –
a game that began on June 18 but was suspended due to rain. On this fine
night, however, both teams picked up two runs and two hits in an
eventful first inning at Walsh Field.
Brody Curtiss started and didn’t allow another
run over the next six frames, finishing with 7.0 innings pitched and 10
strikeouts to pick up the win. Colton Kerkow swooped in for the save,
tossing two scoreless frames with a pair of punchouts.
Hitting heroes for Team Tigertown were Carsen
Ladd, who collected three hits in four trips, and Curtiss, who helped
his own cause with a pair of safeties.
Arlington 3 @ BP 4 (Sunday, July 23)
The background for
the regular-season finale between the A’s and Tigers is that Belle
Plaine dropped a 20-spot on Arlington in a 20-5 win on June 25. Coach
Reichenbach, one of the fine young minds in the RVL, had his lads ready
for the road rematch.
The A’s started Lucas Dorton on the hill while
the Tigers countered with rookie fireballer Hunter Hoen, the latter of
whom tossed three scoreless innings – with just one hit allowed – before
The Tiger Train scored runs in the first and
second innings to carry a 2-0 lead into the fourth, when reliever Derek
Hoffman was touched for a run. Jared Miller started the fifth and also
gave up a tally, tying the score at 2-2. Miller, however, followed with
three scoreless stanzas before giving the ninth to his brother, Josh
Arlington nicked Terrio for a run to tie the
score at 3-3. In the bottom of the ninth, Tyler O’Brien soon delivered a
game-winning, walk-off single to send the fans home happy.
O’Brien was one of four Tigritos with multiple
hits; he was joined by Miller, Derek Dahlke, and Jake Brandenburg.
Tigers Angling for No. 2 Seed in RVL Playoffs
--by Brett Kruschke
It was a quiet past week for the Tigers – last
playing on July 11 while taking Bar-B-Q Days weekend off – but the
playoff storm is fast approaching on the horizon.
Belle Plaine’s ninth-inning blown lead loss to
St. Peter on July 11 means that, while still in the driver’s chair for
the River Valley’s No. 2 playoff seed, there is work yet to be done.
Jordan sits atop the RVL C teams at 9-1, while
Team Tigertown is 6-4 (10-8 overall). Arlington, St. Clair, and St.
Peter are all 5-5, while Gaylord is 3-7. Le Sueur is bringing up the
rear at 2-8.
The Brewers will be the No. 1 seed in the
playoffs that start on July 26, and the Islanders and Braves will sort
out the 6-7 seeds this weekend. The other four teams will fill in spots
2-5, pending the results of this final weekend of ball.
Tonight’s home game against Victoria has been
cancelled, as the Vics had to squeeze in a Section 3B game here in the
regular season’s waning days. It will not be rescheduled.
The Tiger Train will work on the playoff seeding
assignments first on Friday, when it travels to Gaylord for a 7:30 pm
affair. Sunday will close out the regular season with Arlington paying a
visit to Tiger Park at 6:00 pm – on Fan Appreciation Night, with
drawings held throughout the game.
Keep up with the Tigers at bptigertown.com and
on Facebook and Twitter by the same handle. And follow the RVL playoff
seeding picture at Twitter.com/RVLbaseball.
BP 3 @ St. Peter 4 (Tuesday, July 11)
Hunter Hoen got the starting nod, coming off his
previous stellar appearance against Gaylord when he struck out 11
batters over 6.0 innings of one-hit, shutout-ball. The young
right-hander was good once again, giving up two runs in 5.2 innings of
Colton Kerkow came on in relief and carried a
3-2 lead into the ninth inning. That’s when things unfolded in nightmare
fashion, as the Saints went walk, sacrifice bunt, an RBI double, a Tiger
error, and a walk-off sacrifice fly for the 4-3 comeback win.
The Tigers outhit the Saints, 5-4, but committed
a whopping five errors while St. Peter had none.
Tigers 10-Run Pair of RVL Foes
--by Brett Kruschke
Just in time for Bar-B-Q
Days fireworks, the Belle Plaine bats are booming. The town Tigers,
which have won five of their last six games, ten-runned a pair of River
Valley League opponents last weekend.
On Friday, BP bested the Le
Sueur Braves, 15-5 in eight innings. Sunday saw more of the same at St.
Clair, drubbing the Wood Ducks, 14-3 in seven frames.
Growlers were at St. Peter last evening (July 11); check your
BPTigerTown social media channels for details.
Jordan, as per
always, sits in first place with an 8-1 record (18-2 overall) while Team
Tigertown ranks second at 6-3 (10-7). The rest of the RVL C standings:
Arlington 5-5 (8-8), St. Clair 4-5 (5-5), Gaylord (6-8) and St. Peter
3-5 (5-6) with Le Sueur at 2-7 (2-14).
El Tigre is off for
Bar-B-Q Days weekend with the next scheduled game on July 19 against
Victoria -- but that game has been cancelled. It's possible a new
opponent may be found so stay tuned. Otherwise, the regular season will
finish with a roadie at Gaylord on July 21 and Fan Appreciation Night at
Tiger Park (vs. Arlington) on July 23.
Le Sueur 5 @ BP 15
(Friday, July 7 - 8 innings)
The Braves struck for a couple of
first-inning runs off starter Colton Kerkow but after responding with
three tallies in the home half of the first, the Tigers wouldn't trail
Belle Plaine's "fight at the bat rack" meant multiple
runs in five different frames: the first (3), the third (4), the fourth
(2), with three runs in the seventh and eighth to enact the 10-run rule.
Kerkow got through three more innings without further damage and
picked up the win, striking out five. Lucas O'Brien and Matt Johnson
closed up with two stanzas each, with "OB" allowing two runs and Johnson
The big guns of the game were Carsen Ladd, who went 4-for-6
with three RBI, and Brody Curtiss, who knocked home four runs behind a
BP 14 @ St. Clair 3 (Sunday, July 9 - 7
With these recaps coming to you from Max Kepler land,
artificial intelligence articles can't be far behind. All that the
Information age, a seven-hour time differential, and newspaper deadlines
could produce was that Curtiss' standout performance on the mound earned
him the Busch Latte "Player of the Game" honors by the Wood Ducks
And as Baron von Raschke used to say, "And that is
all the people need to know!"
Gaylord Grounds Tigers
--by Brett Kruschke
The Belle Plaine Tigers were cooled off by the
Gaylord Islanders in their final game before extended time off for
Independence Day Weekend, falling 3-2 on June 29 in the resumption of a
previously suspended game. That ended Tigertown’s second three-game
winning streak of the season, dropping their record to 8-7 overall and
4-3 in River Valley League play.
The well-rested locals will return to action on
Friday (July 7), as the Le Sueur Braves pay a visit to Tiger Park with a
7:00 pm start time. The game is sponsored by RTL Construction, which
will provide a free hot dog, chips, and pop for all fans in attendance!
On Sunday, the Tigertown Express will visit St.
Clair for a 4:00 pm RVL tussle. And on Tuesday, the Tiger Train will
trek to St. Peter – first pitch, 7:30 pm.
Stay in touch with all things Tigers at
bptigertown.com, and by the same handle on Facebook and Twitter.
Gaylord 3 @ BP 2 (Thursday, June 29)
The Tigers came into
the Gaylord game with a full head of steam in the form of a three-game
winning streak, having scored 20 runs in their most recent game, against
Arlington. So, #BecauseBaseball, of course the Tigers could hardly
scratch out a hit or run against the RVL basement-dwelling Islanders.
This game originally began on Sunday, June 18,
but was suspended after 2 1/2 innings due to rain. Gaylord got a
three-run homer from Sam Ebert, giving it a 3-1 lead. The homer came off
of Jack Kruger, who was replaced in this game by youngster Hunter Hoen,
who began the original game as the third baseman.
Gaylord’s Jake Schmidt, a young yet crafty
lefty, was terrific in working seven innings of one-run, two-hit ball
with eight punchouts. Though the winner, he was outdone by Hoen.
The young Tiger right-hander loaded the bases in
his first inning – the fourth – but wriggled out of it, striking out the
side when he retired leadoff hitter Collin Grams. Hoen completed the
game and didn’t face more than four batters in an inning the rest of the
way, while also striking out the side in the eighth.
Hoen’s final line was six innings pitched, one
hit and zero runs allowed, with 11 strikeouts.
Jac Campbell, who drove in the first run of the
game on June 18, drove in the second on a bases-loaded walk in the
sixth. The T-Train left the bases loaded that inning, however.
The Plainesmen were mostly quiet the rest of the
way, but put the tying run in scoring position with two outs in the
ninth. Derek Dahlke hit a ball on the screws but right at the Gaylord
center fielder in deep left-center.
Carsen Ladd and Brody Curtiss joined Campbell in
claiming Belle Plaine’s three measly hits.
Tigers Snap Streak vs. Jordan,
20 Runs on Arlington
--by Brett Kruschke
It was a very good week to be a Tiger. One of
the best weeks in years, in fact, thanks to three impressive victories:
a ninth-inning comeback over Cologne, a historic streak-ending gorilla
off the back at Jordan, and a 20-run explosion at Arlington.
Heck, even the Gray Tigers (35-and-older team)
grabbed their first win of the season on Saturday over the Jordan
Millers, 3-2, setting the stage and softening up Jordan fans for the
town-team triumph to come.
After a 1-2 start in River Valley League play,
three straight league wins bumps the Tigers to 4-2 and a second-place
standing. Jordan is 8-1, while every other RVL C team is below .500: St.
Clair (3-4), Arlington (3-4), St. Peter (3-4), Le Sueur (2-4), and
Gaylord (1-4), with Henderson having folded.
The Tiger Train, 8-6 on the season overall, will
have to climb out of a hole on Thursday when the Gaylord Islanders visit
to resume a suspended game from June 18. The Tigers are trailing 3-1 and
will be coming to bat in the third inning. This rescheduled game will
begin at 7:30 pm and has bumped the originally scheduled New Germany
Dutchmen; a makeup date is being sought.
After Thursday’s game, the Plainesmen will
celebrating American freedom until Friday, July 7, when the Le Sueur
Braves stop by at 7:00 pm to kick off the home stretch of the regular
season. The game promotion is a free hot dog, chips, and pop for every
fan, courtesy of RTL Construction.
Cologne 8 @ BP 9 (Thursday, June 22)
Cologne, famous for their cheese-curd shack,
made its “whey” to Tiger Park, with Lucas O’Brien getting the ball from
field manager Jason Ladd for his first mound start of the season. “LOB”
got off to a notorious start, with the first four Hollanders collecting
singles en route to two first-inning tallies.
The BP boys scored 1-2-2 in the first three
innings, highlighted by the first career town-team homer for catcher
Jake Brandenburg – a “Brandy Bomb,” if you will (or even if you won’t),
over the left-field wall in the second inning.
The Tigers led 7-2 until Cologne scored three
runs in the sixth to narrow the gap. Neither team scored again until the
ninth, which began with a 7-5 Tiger lead. But Carter Clemensen clobbered
a three-run, no-doubt blast over the wall for a stunning 8-7 Hollanders
Jared Miller yielded the seemingly fateful long
ball, but with one out he doubled into the left-field corner and after a
couple of wild pitches, he scampered home with the tying run.
Brandenburg walked, stole second base, then raced home on Derek
Hoffman’s game-winning single, a slicer to left field.
Hoffman led the way offensively with a 3-for-4
effort and three RBI, while Brandenburg went 2-for-4 with three RBI and
a home run. Brody Curtiss and Tyler O’Brien both notched multiple hits.
BP 8 @ Jordan 2 (Saturday, June 24)
As KFAN radio’s Dan “The Common Man” Cole likes
to say, “I’m not proud of my past but I don’t run from it.” Belle Plaine
entered Saturday’s assignment at Jordan with 25 consecutive losses to
the Brewers, dating back to July 7, 2013 – a 7-2 win for a Tiger team
that made it all the way to the state championship game later that
season. Ryan Diers dominated on that night, throwing seven no-hit
innings before being removed (he had seven strikeouts but also seven
The losing streak could have earned a silver
anniversary patch for Jordan’s “Day of Baseball,” with three games on
tap for the day, having reached a pride-crushing 25 consecutive games.
And let’s be honest: not too many of them were very close.
Adding to the challenge was Jordan carrying a
15-0 record (8-0 RVL) into the contest, probably underrated at No. 3 in
the latest MBA state rankings. But Brody Curtiss said give me the ball,
and let’s see what happens – with his catching brother, Garrett Boblitt,
on the receiving end.
Former Chanhassen Redbird Tommy Thompson started
on the hill for Jordan, but Belle Plaine broke through in the first
inning on Derek Dahlke’s RBI single to score Carsen Ladd – although
runners were stranded at second and third. Miller then delivered a
two-out, two-run single in the third for a 3-0 BP lead.
In the fourth, Tyler O’Brien rolled a double to
the left-field wall for a 4-0 advantage. When Jordan got its first run
of the game off Curtiss in the bottom of the fourth, Colton Kerkow, the
Tigers’ No. 9 stick, responded top five with the biggest hit of his
town-team career: a two-run double that toasted the center fielder, a
momentum-securer (beyond a shifter) that for all practical purposes, was
Although Curtiss gave up another run in the
fifth, he wouldn’t be touched again in completing the seemingly
impossible: a streak-ending, complete-game five-hitter to slay the
After a scant 3,639 days – yes, really – the
Tigers finally reined victorious once again over their Highway 169
“rivals,” the Jordan Brew-ha-has.
BP 20 @ Arlington 5 (Sunday, June 25)
Sunday night at Arlington, after the home-team
grounds crew dried out a wet field, was a classic opportunity for a
let-down game. Instead, the Tigers kept their foot on the gas pedal with
a five-run first inning – the highlight being Jake Mercado’s first long
ball of the year.
The A’s chipped away at the lead and cut their
deficit to 7-5 after four innings. That’s as close as the A-Train would
get, as a game still within reach through the middle innings was put out
of its misery in the latter stages, with four BP runs in the eighth and
six more in the ninth.
Tiger pitching was divided up as such: Kerkow 2
IP, Boblitt 3 IP, Dahlke 3 IP (and the win), Lucas O’Brien 1 IP.
Meanwhile, the hitting heroes were many: Curtiss went 4-for-6 with two
doubles and four RBI; Carsen Ladd went 3-for-5 with a double and three
RBI; Tyler O’Brien was 3-for-6; Miller smacked two doubles with three
RBI, and Mercado went yard.
The 20 runs scored by the Tigertown Express was
their most in a game since a 25-10 win at Henderson on May 31, 2009,
which featured home runs by established sluggers Pat Schultz and Brad
Tigers Set to Stray
--by Brett Kruschke
After a busy time at the Tigertown Classic, the
normal pace of ballgames resumed this past weekend.
The Tigers hung with Plymouth on Friday until
the seventh when Hitdawg turned it on late to secure a 10-run triumph.
On Sunday, Gaylord led 3-1 after 2 1/2 innings when rain forced a
suspension of the game. A makeup date is still being finalized, but more
music from the Trinity Trio will have to wait until next year.
Belle Plaine’s sixth consecutive home game will
take place on Thursday when the Cologne Hollanders stop by at 7:30 pm.
Edina Realty & Edina Realty Mortgage are sponsoring the game and will be
handing out free root-beer floats, as usual, plus a few prize giveaways
– including a pair of Minnesota Twins tickets!
The Tiger Train will hit the road on Saturday –
finally – as part of Jordan’s “Baseball Day” schedule. The Gray Tigers
will soften things up at 3:00 pm with the Tiger town team slated to
follow at approximately 5:00 pm. (The way things have gone for the Grays
this season, finishing up in under two hours shouldn’t be a problem.)
Team Tigertown will keep the RVL show on the
road on Sunday night when they visit the Arlington Ball Park to take on
the A’s at 6:00 pm.
Keep up with your favorite ballclub at
bptigertown.com and on social media, namely Facebook and Twitter. About
halfway through the regular-season schedule, El Tigre owns a 5-6 record
Plymouth Hitdawg 12 @ BP 2 (Friday, June
16 – 8 innings)
The Plymouth Hit Dawg came into Friday’s contest
fresh off a 27-hit, five home run, 27-0 victory over an MBA team now
safely under the Witness Protection Program.
Belle Plaine knew little about its opponent other than that the
challenge would be stiff.
Behind starting pitcher Brody Curtiss, the
Plainesmen held a 1-0 lead after two innings – with the lead coming
courtesy of Curtiss and a first-inning RBI triple.
Plymouth took a 2-1 lead in the third but Belle
Plaine responded with a run to tie the score. In the fourth inning, the
Hit Dawg’s Lane Vugtuveen blasted a three-run shot over the right-field
wall for a 5-2 advantage.
Curtiss finished up with goose eggs in the fifth
and sixth innings before turning it over to the bullpen. Plymouth was
none too kind to Jake Mercado and Matt Johnson, however, adding seven
runs to their tally over their final two at-bats.
The Tigers collected just three hits, with
Carsen Ladd and Tyler O’Brien also contributing to the cause.
Tigers Show Well at
--by Brett Kruschke
It was a busy weekend of baseball at Tiger Park,
with 10 games over three days – including a lengthy rain delay on
Saturday – at the 24th Tigertown Classic tournament. But all in all,
things went well.
The Marshall A’s, who escaped by the skin of
their teeth against the Belle Plaine Tigers in a 5-4 semifinal win, also
edged the Minneapolis Mudcats by a run Sunday for their third-ever
Tigertown Classic title (2010, 2011). Marshall never led in the game
until Logan Tomasek’s two-run single in the eighth (extra) inning
produced a 7-6 walkoff victory. The Mudcats, meanwhile, lost their
second straight Classic title game by one run.
Your host Tigers opened the tourney on Friday
night with a crisp 6-1 triumph over the Green Isle Irish, but because
the Classic isn’t true double elimination, they bowed out after
Saturday’s semifinal loss.
Last Tuesday, June 6, Team Tigertown had a tight
game turn in their favor as they clipped St. Peter with a walkoff
victory of their own, 10-9. Details are available below and at
twitter.com/bptigertown, where the full weekend of baseball was
documented in text, photo, and video form.
Please note: the home game against Union Hill
has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
Also, it was announced last week that the River
Valley League’s Henderson Tigers folded due to a lack of player
availability. That means that the games against Henderson on June 17
(away) and June 22 (home) are both cancelled.
Replacement opponents were found, however. The
Tigers will host Plymouth Hitdawg, a team sponsored by a player
development academy, on Friday, June 16, at 7:30 pm. The game promotions
are Matt Saxe Chevrolet, Belle Plaine Community Education, and Little
League Night all rolled into one.
On Sunday, the Gaylord Islanders will visit
Tiger Park at 6:00 pm on Senior Citizens Night. The polka tradition will
continue as “Butch” Herrmann, Bobby “Cash” Kahle, and Bob Schroeder –
aka, “The Trinity Trio,” will play live music between innings.
See you at the ballpark for a pair of games this
St. Peter 9 @ BP 10 (Tuesday, June 6)
Belle Plaine felt good sending stud pitcher Jack
Kruger to the mound, but St. Peter provided a rude awakening as their
first five batters of the game all reached and scored. To quote Clark
Griswold, “Ed, this is not the car I ordered …”
The Tigers seemed poised to respond, opening the
game with a Tyler O’Brien double and a Carsen Ladd single. But both
runners were stranded, and the Tiger Train didn’t get on the board until
a two-run single from Brody Curtiss in the third inning.
Saints starting pitcher Tom Carlson departed
with a 6-2 lead after four innings, but after a reliever known only as
“#2” went hit batsman – walk – walk – walk, Carlson came back in! The
Tigers batted around in the fateful fifth, trimming the deficit to 6-5.
The locals took a 7-6 lead with two more runs in
the sixth, but St. Peter tied it with a run in the seventh. Both teams
scored twice in the eighth, and after a scoreless top of the ninth,
Brody Curtiss walked with two outs and stole
second base. Jared Miller then lifted a sinking liner to center field,
and the outfielder dove and seemingly caught it – before it popped out
of his glove! Just like that, the comeback was complete and the Tigers
pocketed an important league win, 10-9.
Kruger recovered from the rough start and lasted
seven innings, while Colton Kerkow swooped in for the win after throwing
the final two frames.
The Tigers’ top hitters were Miller going
3-for-4 with three RBI – including the game-winning hit – Curtiss going
1-for-2, with three runs scored – including the game-winner – two RBI,
and four walks; Carsen Ladd 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two
stolen bases, and Derek Dahlke going 2-for-5 with three runs.
Green Isle 1 @ BP 6 (Friday, June 9 – 7
innings, Tigertown Classic)
The late, great Dark Star once said of his radio
show’s philosophy: “What can the next three hours do for me?” and the
philosophy of the Tigertown Classic is when possible, have former Tigers
and friends reunite, such as with the Green Isle Irish and their field
manager, Nate Hartmann.
Nate was also a member of the 2013 state
runner-up Tigers that shocked the world – or at least, themselves – and
was able not only to be present for that team’s 10-year mini reunion on
Friday night, but he even got to fill out a lineup card and flash some
fancy hand signals.
“Summer Catch” Josh Terrio took the ball from
manager Jason Ladd, and the 17-year veteran couldn’t have looked more at
home if it was Bar-B-Q Days Saturday morning. The Tigers, serving as
visitors due to a random draw, grabbed a run in the top of the first
before Terrio helped himself with a two-run single in the third – on an
0-2 count – for a 3-0 cushion.
It was more than enough, but the BP Boppers
added three more tallies in the fifth, including one on a standup triple
by Jake Mercado. Terrio got the
‘W’ with five-plus frames and one run allowed, while Kerkow closed up.
Marshall 5 @ BP 4 (Saturday, June 10 – 7
innings, Tigertown Classic)
Jared Miller matched up against Marshall’s
Hunter Wienhoff in this semifinal affair. It wasn’t Miller’s sharpest
night while Wienhoff was very good, but sometimes in baseball you’ve got
to stick around to the end and see what happens.
The Tigers were once again guests on the
scoreboard, and the A’s struck first with a run in the bottom of the
first. They extended the lead to 4-0 before Belle Plaine finally got on
the board with a lone tally in the fourth, thanks to an RBI groundout
from Jac Campbell.
The score remained the same until Curtiss opened
the sixth with a ringing double, with a pair of wild pitches quickly
bringing home courtesy runner Chase Emmers to make it 4-2.
After three laborious innings, Miller gave way
to a crisp Curtiss who went the rest of the way and kept the A’s in
The Tigers entered the final inning – the
seventh – down 5-2 and without many signs of life when things finally
got interesting. Technically the first three Tiger batters of the
seventh inning struck out, but the second of those, Emmers, reached
first after the third strike wasn’t caught. Back-to-back singles by
O’Brien and Carsen Ladd was followed by a walk.
With the score 5-4 and two outs, Wienhoff gave
way to Matt Hmielewski, who promptly plunked the first batter. Now with
the bases loaded, Terrio smacked a ball to medium-deep left field,
causing a moment of excitement and an instant flopsweat for Tweetin’
Billy T before it found a home in the left-fielder’s glove.
Tigertown Classic Arrives
Tigers Lambaste Le Sueur,
--by Brett Kruschke
Team Tigertown took
out their frustrations at Le Sueur on Sunday, posting a 13-4 win to snap
a four-game losing streak. Prior to that, the Tigers fell on May 30 at
New Prague, 7-5, and at home on Friday against Jordan, 12-7.
Belle Plaine’s overall record is 3-4, with a 1-2
mark in the River Valley League. Last night (June 6) the locals played
host to St. Peter, one of two RVL Class C teams with a perfect record in
league action (3-0; Jordan, 4-0). Visit the tigerwebs for results and
details at bptigertown.com or on social media.
the 24th annual Tigertown Classic is upon us, with 10 games over three
days at Tiger Park. Your hometown nine will open the tournament at 6:30
pm on Friday against former Tiger Nate Hartmann – presently the field
manager – and the Green Isle Irish. The Marshall A’s and Webster Sox
will follow with Game 2 at approximately 8:30 pm.
Saturday begins bright and early at 10:30 am
with the Carver Black Sox squaring off against the defending tournament
champions, the North Branch Nighthawks. The RVL’s Le Sueur Braves are
back in the Classic and will take on last year’s tournament runner-up,
the Minneapolis Melchior Mudcats.
Belle Plaine will also play on Saturday – at
7:30 pm if it won on Friday and at 5:15 pm if it lost. For the rest of
tournament schedule, please see the bracket published here and/or
available online. Please note: one admission charge is good for an
entire day of games!
BP 5 @ New Prague 7 (Tuesday, May 30)
Nine of the game’s 12
runs came in the first 1 1/2 innings. Unfortunately for Belle Plaine,
five of those tallies belonged to New Prague against starting pitcher
The Tigers responded in like fashion with three
second-inning runs to cut the deficit to 5-4. Among the highlights were
back-to-back doubles from Tyler O’Brien and Carsen Ladd.
Matt Johnson started the second on the hill for
the visitors, and he put up three scoreless frames before coughing up a
pair of runs in the fifth. The Tigers tied the score with a run in the
fourth, making Johnson the pitcher of record.
No runs came across for either team during the
final four innings of the contest. Mercado and Carsen Ladd both went
2-for-4 with an RBI, while Josh Terrio joined the fun with a pair of
It was a long night at the ball yard, as a
backup umpire was needed which pushed the start time to around 8:00 pm.
Town Ball Tuesdays was in attendance and did a bang-up job providing
updates to the Tiger internet faithful.
Jordan 12 @ BP 7 (Friday, June 2)
Garrett Boblitt took
the ball from manager Jason Ladd while Jordan countered with a fellow
college ballplayer, Jonathan Draheim.
The Brewers grabbed a run in the first inning
before turning Nate Beckman’s RBI single in the third into a 2-0 lead
after three. That was when Jordan really went to work, putting the game
out of reach with crooked numbers 3, 3, and 2 in innings four, five, and
six – the latter runs coming in on a two-run double from “The Antelope,”
The Tigers scored their runs in bunches, plating
three in the third and four in their last cracks. Five Plainesmen
enjoyed two-hit games: Miller (2-for-4, 2B), Dahlke (2B, RBI), Curtiss
(2-for-4, BB), Carsen Ladd (2-for-5, 2 RBI), and O’Brien (2-for-4, 2B, 3
Boblitt was saddled with the loss, tossing 3 1/3
innings. Terrio, Colton Kerkow, and O’Brien also pitched.
BP 13 @ Le Sueur 4 (Sunday, June 4)
Brody Curtiss gave
Belle Plaine the game it needed on the mound, chucking seven innings of
two-run ball (zero earned) with four strikeouts. Johnson closed out the
final two stanzas.
A pair of Tigers had three-hit nights in Mercado
(3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI) and Miller (3-for-5, 2 RBI). Dahlke took one over
the boards – his second home run of the season – as part of a 2-for-4,
3-RBI night. O’Brien (2-for-5, 3 RBI) and Carsen Ladd (2-for-4, 2 RBI)
contributed to the offensive onslaught.
Town Tigers to Open
3 RVL Games
--by Brett Kruschke
The Belle Plaine Tigers’ first 2-0 start since
2012 quickly faded to a 2-2 start, with last night’s (May 30) game at
New Prague yet to be played at print time. The Tigers lost their first
game of the season on Tuesday to St. Clair, 7-3, before a Thursday visit
to Lonsdale resulted in a 10-7 setback.
Check bptigertown.com or “BP Tigertown” on
Facebook or Twitter for last night’s result against the Orioles, who
entered the contest with a perfect 5-0 record.
The Jordan Brewers – off to a 6-0 start
themselves – will be in town on Friday night for a 7:00 pm first pitch.
Team Tigertown will be looking to snap a 23-game losing skid against
their historic Highway 169 rivals.
River Valley League action will continue on
Sunday with a 6:00 pm trip to Le Sueur, followed by a Tuesday trip to
Tiger Park by the St. Peter Saints. Once again, that start time is a
family-friendly 7:00 pm.
St. Clair 7 @ BP 3 (Tuesday, May 23)
St. Clair started fast on Dollar Dog Night,
putting up a two-spot in the first frame. The Wood Ducks added to the
lead with one run in the third and two more in the fourth for a 5-0 lead
after 3 1/2.
That was more than enough support for
right-hander Taylor Schumacher, who spun a complete-game six-hitter with
10 strikeouts. Derek Hoffman started for the T-Train but worked just two
innings before giving way to Colton Kerkow, who tossed three frames and
gave up as many runs.
Jared Miller was next, chucking 3.1 innings
before Derek Dahlke took the mound for the final two outs.
The biggest hit of the game came from Hoffman,
who drilled a two-out, two-run double in the seventh to trim the deficit
to 5-3. But that was as close as the Tigers would get. Aidan Ladd went
2-for-4 with an RBI in his season debut, while Brody Curtiss also went
2-for-4. Miller, meanwhile, belted a triple.
The biggest thorn in the Tigers’ side from St.
Clair was Eric Carpenter, who collected four hits and four RBI.
BP 7 @ Lonsdale 10 (Thursday, May 25)
Even in this golden age of technology,
information can be difficult to come by at times – particularly, it
seems, when your local nine hits the road for a friendly.
What we know: in what seems to be a slowly
increasing trend of recent years, Minnesota town teams are choosing to
play seven innings instead of nine for exhibition (non-league) games.
And such was the case for this contest at Trenda Memorial Park.
Garrett Boblitt took the loss for Tigertown,
throwing three innings. Tyler O’Brien worked a pair of frames while Matt
Johnson threw one.
Hitting heroes for the BP boys were Dahlke, who
went 2-for-4 with two RBI, and O’Brien, who went 2-for-4 with a double.
Other Tigers collecting hits were Carsen Ladd, Miller, and Curtiss.
Town Tigers Mash Montgomery,
Move to 2-0
--by Brett Kruschke
The Belle Plaine
Tigers are 2-0 for the first time since 2012 after an 8-1 dismissal of
the Montgomery Mallards on Friday. The Tigers’ only 3-0 start this
century came in 2009 – a season that finished with a 26-10 record.
El Tigre opened league play last night (May 23)
against St. Clair; check for results and details on bptigertown.com or
on the team’s social media channels, BP Tigertown on Facebook and
The Tigers will bookend Memorial Day Weekend
with a Thursday night tilt at Lonsdale and a Tuesday night trip to New
Prague – both games are at 7:30 pm. Thursday’s game against the Aces is
slated for a shortened seven innings.
BP 8 @ Montgomery 1 (Friday, May 19 – 7
The Tigers agreed to
Montgomery’s proposal of a 7-inning game and an 8 pm start time. Even
so, manager Jason Ladd found work for five different Tiger arms: Derek
Hoffman, Colton Kerkow, Matt Johnson, Tyler O’Brien, and Jared Miller.
O’Brien and Derek Dahlke got the Tiger Train
rolling right away with solo home runs in the first inning. The BP boys
ended up scoring in five of the contest’s seven innings.
The Mallards scored their lone run in the first
off Hoffman, who worked three frames while fanning four batters. The
rest of the righties went an inning apiece, with Miller shutting it
O’Brien went 3-for-4 with a home run and two
RBI, while Carsen Ladd also went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Dahlke had a pair of hits – including the aforementioned bomb – and as
Town Tigers Outslug
--by Brett Kruschke
The Belle Plaine Tigers dug out of a deep pit
against the St. Benedict Saints during Friday’s season opener, closing
the contest with 16 unanswered runs to notch a 17-7 triumph in seven
innings. Last year, the BP boys opened the season with a similarly wild
16-15 walk-off win over the Bennies.
The Tigers will carry a 1-0 record into
Montgomery this Friday night as they take on the Mallards of the
Dakota-Scott-Rice League at 7:30 pm.
Belle Plaine’s first River Valley League game of
the season will follow on Tuesday, May 23, when the St. Clair Wood Ducks
visit Tiger Park on Dollar (Hot) Dog Night – 7:00 pm first pitch. That’s
right: all-you-care-to-eat $1 hot dogs from your hometown butcher shop,
Ruck’s Meats, and allow me to testify that they are bigger and better
Spice up your social media feeds by following
the Tigers at “BP Tigertown” on Facebook and Twitter. And be sure to
bookmark the primary hub, bptigertown.com, on your favorite scrolling
St. Benedict 7 @ BP 17 (7 innings –
Friday, May 12)
Matt Johnson just missed the cutoff date for
playing in Tigertown last season, so after spending the 2022 campaign as
a coach, he made up for lost time by taking the ball from manager Jason
Ladd on Opening Night. It drizzled all day but Tiger Park was greened up
and ready to go, thanks to the tarps and grounds crew.
Johnson put up a goose egg in his debut frame
and took a 1-0 lead into the second inning thanks to leadoff hitter
Tyler O’Brien scoring a run after swiping both second and third base.
However, Johnson was chased with just one out in the second stanza – an
inning that saw St. Benedict score six runs thanks in large part to
three Tiger errors.
Jonathan “A Country Boy Can Survive” Schmidt
finished the second inning and allowed one more run before calling it a
day after three, but the home fans found themselves trailing 7-1 almost
before they could finish their first dollar beer.
Belle Plaine picked up another run behind an
O’Brien stolen base in the third inning, then batted eight men in the
fourth inning to plate four runs. Once again, O’Brien provided the key
blow with a two-run double – and he also came around to score his third
run in as many at-bats.
Derek Hoffman worked a scoreless fourth for the
locals before giving way to Jared Miller in the fifth, the latter of
whom went the rest of the way and kept the Bennies off the board to
eventually earn the win.
The Tiger Train tied the game at 7-7 in the
fifth, then broke it open and surprisingly sent the folks home early
behind five-spots in both the sixth and seventh innings. Belle Plaine
started the sixth with three straight hits and the seventh with two in a
row, setting the table for the carnage that unfolded.
O’Brien was joined in the multi-hit party by
Schmidt, Carsen Ladd, Jake Mercado, and your grinning “Gremlin of the
Game,” Derek Dahlke, who reached base in all five plate appearances and
had three hits, including a triple. The Tigers collected 15 hits in all.
Town Tigers Open Season
at Home on Friday
--by Brett Kruschke
“Baseball in Belle Plaine since 1885,” and here
comes another season of Tigers Men’s Amateur Town-Team Baseball. Your
local lads – and Ladds – will entertain our traditional opening-night
foe on Friday, when the St. Benedict Saints swoop into Tiger Park for a
7:00 pm first pitch.
Friday’s game promotion is Dollar Beer Night –
yes, inflation be darned, the board has spoken (or more accurately,
failed to speak) and it shall be $1 beers for the duration of the
evening. No, there’ll be no pesky pitch clock to cut your night short,
and no, we didn’t recently cut a deal for a truckload of discounted Bud
Light. (Keystone Light? Perhaps.)
Jason Ladd is back for season No. 2 at the helm
as Tigers skipper, as well as his right-hand man, Josh Terrio, returning
as his trusty sounding board (lead assistant coach) and player. For the
sake of accuracy we’ll make you have to check a game program for the
2023 Opening Day roster, but we’ll throw you a nugget in that Derek
Dahlke is returning to his Tiger homeland this summer.
Here’s a few other things to look forward to at
Tiger Park: a new drink rail and seating area has been added just past
the third-base dugout. The “Home of the Tigers” sign on the back of the
grandstand, after lasting nearly 20 years, will soon be replaced. Also,
pinstripe pants and uniform tops are back, as well as an additional
new-look “BP” ballcap.
Team Tigertown is intentionally easing into this
season – more than usual, anyway – to allow for a more representative
roster when the River Valley League games start counting. So, Belle
Plaine is playing just five games in May – with just two of those coming
at home and with four of the five of the non-league variety. (St. Clair
will be Belle Plaine’s only league opponent in May, on the 23rd at Tiger
Don’t you worry none: June is loaded with at
least 12 games, including the Tigertown Classic tournament on June 9-11.
And six regular-season contests are scheduled in July before the league
playoffs start at the end of the month.
Find the full schedule and game promotions
listed at our long-running website – since 1885, believe it or not –
bptigertown.com. And find us also on Facebook and Twitter at “BP
Season tickets are available for $35 and will be
available at the ticket gate and Brad’s Barber Shop. Single-game ticket
prices are $4 for ages 18-64, $2 for ages 12-17 and 65-plus, and no
admission charge for ages 11 and younger.
See you at the ballpark!
Tom Melchior Named Glenn Carlson Award Winner
Former Town Ball Player
Chronicles Its History
Tom Melchior was born in Belle
Plaine, Minnesota in 1936. His family moved to Gaylord, and then to
Garden City where Tom played youth baseball and his first two years of
high school ball. In 1952, the family returned to Belle Plaine for
Tom’s junior and senior years. During the summer of his junior year, Tom
began his amateur career as a shortstop for the Carver Black Sox.
After graduating, he joined the
Belle Plaine Tigers for three seasons. In 1954, Tom enrolled at St.
John’s University, where he was a four-year starter as an outfielder,
and co-captain as a senior. After his junior year in 1957, he was hired
as the Benson Braves player-manager for one season.
After graduating college in 1958,
Tom played one year for the Le Sueur Giants. He then taught in New
Prague in 1959 and played for the New Prague Robins. He spent 1960 in
Puerto Rico, teaching and coaching at Colegio San Antonio Abad before
returning in 1961 to teach in Montgomery. He played for and managed the
Montgomery Redbirds for two seasons. In 1962, Tom began a 31-year
teaching career at Burnsville High School, including a decade as the
baseball coach. He was named Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 1971 and
retired in 1993. Shortly thereafter, he became one of the first
inductees into the Burnsville High School Hall of Fame.
After accepting the post in
Burnsville, Tom and his wife, Sue, settled in rural Shakopee, where they
raised their three children, Paul, Marty and Meg. Tom finished his
playing career with the Shakopee Indians in 1967, and by the mid-1970s,
he retired from high school coaching. Tom then coached a Shakopee Babe
Ruth team from 1976-1981.
When Tom retired from teaching, he
began a second career as an author and regional historian. In
1997, he published “They Called Me Teacher,” which recounts the history
and stories of Minnesota’s one-room schoolhouse teachers. The book won
the 1997-98 Merit Award from the Minnesota Independent Publishers
Association. This was followed by a memoir, “From Both Sides of the
Desk” and “Never Forgotten,” which chronicles stories of World War II
By the late 1990s, Tom’s focus was
back to his first love, baseball. Over the next decade, Tom researched
and interviewed dozens of former amateur baseball players from the
region. The result was “Belle Plaine Baseball: 1884 – 1960,” and later,
“Scott County Baseball.” These books detail the rich history of townball
in Scott County. Both titles sold out their first printing and have been
widely used by other researchers, writers, and fans of Minnesota’s
amateur game. Tom’s endeavors, on and off the field, have positively
influenced the lives of thousands of Minnesotans including his family
and friends, his students, and generations of baseball players, coaches
When We the
Boys of Summer Played
We roamed all day
without a care,
And never thought of
When we the boys
of summer played,
So many years ago,
The sun burned down
on sandlot fields,
The pace of time was
We played where
grass would never grow,
Sometimes on city
We had no cell
phones way back then,
But we knew when to
Our caps were flat
with bills that crowned
With logos of
They played on
diamonds far away
Where we just played
We lugged no big
To carry all our
Just a bat and a
We thought it was
We never wore those
shoes with spikes.
Our pants were Levi
We rode our bikes to
We were a motely
When we the boys
of summer played,
were not lined.
We had no way to buy
No batters’ box
When we the boys
of summer played,
There was fire in
Lightning shot from
And home plate was
No umpire ever
called a pitch.
was our game.
We could argue with
how we complained!
No parents ever
Or organized our
were the ones who ruled the game
When we the boys
of summer played,
We hit line drives
We scooped up every
hot ground ball
With spirits wild
We dug right in for
And waved our trusty
The pitchers seldom
threw a strike
some past our hats.
One day we rode to
To play a Series
crunched the gravel road,
Singing out our
We taped the bats to
Our gloves all hung
We played four
innings; then we fought.
’tis the best that we could do.
When we the boys
of summer played,
Our heroes were Ted
They hit homeruns we
And put on quite a
Our favorite bat was
Slugger was its
Robinson swung a
Duke Snider gave it
We had no TV games
We turned the Plilco
Made summer nights
Where have my
boys of summer gone,
Who once stood
strong and tall?
In old age now I
Were they ever
here at all?
Those years slipped
by, so now I dream
Of games I played
Some now play
among the clouds.
Where games will