Sunday, August 26
Belle Plaine


Off-Season Training

Tigers Record 23-9, 9-5

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--by Brett Kruschke & Matt Schultz

Playoff baseball games tend to swing on a dime, and that is pretty much what Team Tigertown experienced Sunday night in New Prague against the defending state champion Kimball Express. A 2-0 lead into the seventh inning quickly turned into a 5-2 deficit that became the final score.

Just like that, a successful season is in the books and the focus soon shifts to next year. Belle Plaine finishes the 2018 campaign with a 23-9 record (9-5 RVL) – its most wins since going 26-11 in the Adam Johnson Era of 2011.

Across the 2015 and 2016 seasons, our boys combined to win just one-third of their games. Last year (13-16) it bumped up to 45 percent and this season saw a noticeable leap, with a .719 winning percentage. With 21 players owning four years or less of town-team experience, the future is promising.

The Tigers can playfully boast that they finished the season as the last Class C River Valley League team standing, as No. 1 seed Jordan fell on Saturday night – also at New Prague – to Young America, 5-1.

Of course, there’s plenty of great baseball yet to be played at the state tournament and we would encourage you to visit the beautiful ballparks in Shakopee, New Prague and Jordan over Labor Day Weekend. Find updated brackets and a whole lot more at and don’t forget Tigertown’s home base,

Thanks to our fans and sponsors for your support this year, as always, and we’ll see you at the ballpark next spring!

Kimball 5, BP 2 @ New Prague (State Tournament, second round) - Box Score
Belle Plaine headed to New Prague’s newly-renovated ballpark looking to punch their ticket to Labor Day Weekend against a formidable foe, the Kimball Express. The teams traded zeroes through the first three innings, with Wes Sarsland on the mound for the Tigers and Ben Johnson for the Express.

El Tigre got to Johnson in the fourth when Matt Schultz singled, followed by a hit-by-pitch for Jared Miller. Derek Dahlke doubled in Schultz before Pat Schultz recorded an RBI groundout for a 2-0 lead.

Sarsland protected the lead into the seventh inning when two hits and a walk suddenly chased him from the game with the bases loaded, one out and the Tigers ahead by two runs. Nathan Herman came on in relief and plunked his first batter to quickly make it 2-1. A force out at home was the second out and it appeared the Tigers might escape the jam, however, a bloop hit to no-man’s land behind first base plated a pair of runs to give Kimball its first lead, at 3-2.

Two more RBI singles in the seventh were salt in the wound, and the Tigers couldn’t dent the scoring column during the final two frames. Express starter Johnson whiffed an overpowering 13 batters in his eight innings of action. Zak Wallner closed things out for the save, striking out two more.

Belle Plaine only had five hits in the contest, with Aiden Ladd grabbing a team-high two plus a walk. Dahlke and the playing Schultz brothers each tallied a hit apiece. Sarsland suffered just his second loss of the season, dropping him to 6-2 in his All-Star campaign.

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