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


-by Mike Schultz

To say the 2013 Belle Plaine Tigers town team baseball season was up and down would be an understatement. The Tigers finished the season at 19-17, which was the first time in three years that Belle Plaine didn’t win 20 games. They started the season off 1-6, which included getting shutout in both of their games at the Freeport Tourney.  El Tigre’s worst losing streak was four games and they also had two three-game losing streaks. On July 23 the Tigers were 9-16 and looking to get a little momentum going before playoffs started. They promptly ran off 10 straight wins before falling to the Sartell Muskies in the state championship game, finishing the season as the runners-up in Class C.

I have done absolutely no checking or verification of this but I would imagine the Tigers played one of the most difficult schedules in the state this year, which may have contributed to the poor record prior to the great playoff run.  Sixteen of the teams Belle Plaine played made the state tournament, with the Tigers finishing 8-8 against them. Tigertown played two state champions in Sartell and Renner, SD, and also battled the runner-up in the Class B tournament, the Shakopee Indians. Throw in three games against Class A teams and five against Class B, and you have the makings of a very difficult schedule.

For the second year in a row the Tigers lost their pitcher who threw the most innings the previous year, when self-proclaimed “Ace of the Staff” Shane Hofmann retired at the end of the 2012 campaign. Add in the fact that Brad Lawson – who threw the second most innings in 2012 – was limited this year due to arm problems, and Tigertown was looking a little thin (in more ways than one) in the pitching department.

Ryan Diers stepped up and became the team-proclaimed ace of the staff, amassing a miniscule 1.35 ERA and 68 K’s in 60 innings. Diers was a perfect 6-0 on the season, including two wins in the state tournament. The addition of Jake Fiedler, who threw 54 innings with a 3.81 ERA, also helped nullify that loss of Hofmann. Fiedler finished 4-3 with 44 strikeouts in those 54 frames. Nine other pitchers threw over 10 innings for the Tigers, contributing to a team ERA of 4.05 – more than one whole run higher than 2012’s team ERA of 2.89, but still respectable considering the tough schedule and loss of quality pitching from the previous year.

Offensively the Tigers were led all year by center fielder Travis Latzke, who hit a scorching-hot .451 with 41 hits, 24 runs, seven 2Bs, 14 RBI, 10 BBs , 11 SBs and only 8 Ks in 91 official at-bats. An amazing year, to say the least. Fiedler was second on the team with a .336 average and also led the Tigers with 23 RBI. Diers led the team in home runs with three, two of which came in the state tournament. Diers, Pat Schultz, Dan Huber and Ross VanHauen were the other Tigers who batted over .300 on the year. The team batting average was .265, 20 points lower than the 2012 average of .286. Diers and Latzke were also Belle Plaine’s selection for the RVL-DRS All-Star Game, played in Veseli.

The highlight of the 2013 Tiger season was the dream run made in the state tournament. It started off with a hard fought 4-1 win over St. Benedict. Diers got the win on the mound in that game and also had two RBI. Next up was Avon and their former minor league pitcher, Kyle Collins. The Tiger Train won that game 6-3 behind another strong pitching performance and three more RBI by Diers. Next up was the Howard Lake Orphans, with Belle Plaine winning 7-6 in 17 innings. There were too many heroes to mention in this game but a few highlights included game-saving defensive plays by Latzke and Diers. High school senior Derek Dahlke pitched five innings and only gave up one run, and Brad Lawson had the game-winning RBI in the top of the 17th.

After that four-hour marathon game the Tigers matched up against the Winsted Wildcats later that same day. Belle Plaine struck early and often, holding a 6-1 lead after four innings. Draftee Justin Thompson from Chanhassen turned in a gutsy performance, pitching six strong innings after throwing five innings earlier in the day against Howard Lake and the Tigers ended up winning, 8-4.

Up next was the Sartell Muskies in the state championship game. Tigertown was a step slow after logging 26 innings the day before and fell 10-0. Although it didn’t end exactly as they had hoped, the Tigers deemed the state tourney a success after a 2nd-place finish and coming home with all of their tournament shares. They also greatly appreciated and enjoyed the awesome fan turnout at the tourney – thanks for sticking with us after the slow start.  

The Tigers look to return almost every player from 2013 next year and hope to make another run at a state championship on their home field as they are co-hosting the 2014 state tourney with Jordan. Hope to see you there!




-by Brett Kruschke, Mike & Matt Schultz

The Tigertown Express ran out of steam Monday after logging 26 innings the day before, dropping the Class ‘C’ state championship game to the mighty Sartell Muskies by a 10-0 count in seven innings. The whirlwind weekend began with a 6-3 roughing up of previously unscored-upon ex-minor leaguer Kyle Collins and the Avon Lakers. Sunday saw the Tigers win a pair of contests, outlasting Howard Lake 7-6 in 17 innings in perhaps the best game of the tournament (ask neutral parties) and Winsted 8-4 in the state semi-finals.

The Sartell Muskies are a great champion and almost ran the table this year, finishing 30-2 with a pair of one-run losses – wow! The Tigers, meanwhile, saw their 10-game winning streak snapped to cap the season at 19-17, including 9-4 in the RVL. (For the record, the Tigers played a pretty rigid non-league schedule.) During the 10-game winning streak, Belle Plaine outscored their opponents by a combined total of 59-21.

The bottom line for the 2013 Tigers is that since town team baseball began in Belle Plaine in 1885, this year’s collection is just the fifth to make it to the state championship game (with the 1994 squad the only to win it all). The other appearances were in 1948, 1952 and 1991.

Time for writing is short after this extra-long weekend of baseball, but I want to share some thoughts on the Howard Lake game, which Mike Schultz also covers below. With the disclaimer that I forget a lot of things, it was as dramatic a contest as any in recent memory. The atmosphere at the ballpark was just surreal. In the process the official iPhone of Tiger baseball died in extras before recharging for the final frames, thanks to BP fans blowing up the Tiger Twitter account.

Trailing 4-0 early, the Tigers scored three runs in the eighth to finally take a 6-5 lead to the ninth. Little did we know, the fun was just beginning. It seemed like Howard Lake got their leadoff guy on every inning during the extra frames and they stranded 21 men overall, which will tell you all you need to know about the frayed nerves of the average Tiger fan.

There were two plays I won’t forget, both in extras: with a runner on first and two outs, center fielder Travis Latzke made an amazing over-the-shoulder, Willie Mays-type catch as he fell to the warning track that was truly stupefying and oh-by-the-way, saved the game. An inning or two later, right-fielder Ryan Diers got turned around on a ball that fell near the wall. When it landed, I was certain the baserunner at second would score and the game was over. But Diers’ relay throw to Matt Schultz to catcher Pat Schultz nabbed the runner on a close play at the plate. Amazing.

(photo credit: BELLE PLAINE HERALD)

At the end of it all, the Tigers have a still-massive second-place trophy for the shrinking display case at Brad’s Barber Shop and memories that will last a lifetime. Even in a losing cause Ryan Diers made a strong case to be state tournament MVP, serving as ace on the mound while swinging a scorching-hot bat, including a couple home runs. He settled for all-tournament team, along with teammates Travis Latzke and Jake Fielder. Congrats!

There are tons of great pictures from the tournament on the Tigers’ Facebook page thanks primarily to Kelsie and Megan Piepgras, and MBA do-it-all guy, C.J. Siewert – go to Facebook.com/BPTigertown. As Mike mentions below, scrolling back through the Twitter feed – ours as well as the MBA’s and RVL’s – would also be worth a few minutes of your time. And the hard-working Nick Kornder is forever on call at the online hub of Tiger baseball, BPTigertown.com.

And as the old saying goes, “See you at the ballpark” next year, when Belle Plaine and Jordan (and third host site, Le Sueur) will be hosting the 2014 state tournament. Thank you, fans and sponsors, for your continued support of Tiger baseball.

BP 6 vs. Avon 3, at Maple Lake 169 NEW PHOTOS
(Saturday, Aug. 31 – state tournament third round)
Belle Plaine traveled to Maple Lake on Saturday to face Avon for a chance to be one of the final eight teams alive in the Class ‘C’ state tournament. Belle Plaine once again sent Ryan Diers to the mound. The Lakers countered with former Cleveland Indians minor leaguer, Kyle Collins, who was yet to allow a run in his first two starts during this year’s tournament.

Diers and Collins traded zeros in the first inning before Pat Schultz led off the second inning with the first of his two hits on the day. The Tigers had runners on first and second with two outs when Diers stepped to the plate looking to help himself out and add a run or two. He did more than that and crushed a three-run home run off the scoreboard, giving the Tigers a lead they would never relinquish. The Tigers didn’t score again until the sixth when they added three runs on four singles, two wild pitches, and one great pinch-running performance by manager Mike Schultz.

Avon was held scoreless until the sixth when they scored their first and only run off of Diers. He pitched seven innings, giving up only four hits, two walks and one earned run. Throw in the three-run bomb and he had what could be called a pretty good day at the park. St. Peter draftee Ty Kaus pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

New Ulm draftee Andy Stolt started the ninth inning and then things got a little hairy, though Stolt wasn‘t to blame. Avon led the inning off with a double. The next hitter grounded out and a walk put runners at first and third with one out. A possible double play ball from the next batter was bobbled and the Tigers only got one out. A single scored the runner from second, making it 6-2.

Avon’s next batter hit a groundball to third. The throw to first was up the line a bit, causing first baseman Matt Schultz to come off the base and attempt a swipe tag of the runner. The base umpire called him out for the final out of the game and El Tigre began celebrating. After a short conference, however, the umpires reversed the call and stated that Schultz in fact didn’t tag him. The Tigers and some fans began yelling, never mind that the umps probably made the right call. Avon scored a run on the play, making it 6-3 with the tying run at the plate. Team Tigertown brought in high school senior Derek Dahlke, who promptly recorded a strikeout and sent the Tigers to celebrating again.

BP 7 vs. Howard Lake 6, at Delano 260 NEW PHOTOS
(17 innings – Sunday, Sept. 1 – state tournament fourth round)
There is an old saying in baseball that goes, sometime you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you play in ridiculously crazy 17-inning games (or something like that). Belle Plaine played Howard Lake in Delano on Sunday and that is exactly what happened. BP trailed 4-0 after two innings, was leading 6-5 going into the bottom of the 9th and ended up winning the game 7-6 in 17 innings. Numerous great plays were made by both teams during the game and I couldn’t possibly do it justice if I tried to remember all of them, so I‘ll just give you the basic stats.

Jake Fielder started on the mound but didn’t have his usual good stuff and departed after 1 1/3 innings, giving up four runs. Draftee Justin Thompson from Chanhassen pitched the next 5 2/3, only allowing one run. Derek Dahlke went the next five frames, also only allowing one run. Zach Horning threw the next 3 2/3 and held the Orphans scoreless. Shawn Larson relieved him and pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to finally get the win.

Offensively the Tigers were led by Fiedler who had two hits (including a home run), three RBI and two walks. He also made several tremendous defensive plays. Ryan Diers and Travis Latzke both also had two hits on the day, and they both turned in game-saving defensive plays at different times throughout the game.

Brad Lawson got the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the 17th. Larson, Pat Schultz, Matt Schultz and Dan Huber had the other hits for El Tigre. For more detailed information on this game you’ll have to check Twitter, the MBA website, Facebook or maybe just give someone that was at the game a good old-fashioned phone call. Trust me, you’ll get a much better description then I could ever give.


BP 8 vs. Winsted 4, at Maple Lake 128 NEW PHOTOS
(Sunday, Sept. 1 – state tournament semifinals)
The Tigers traveled about a half-hour west from Delano to Maple Lake to take on the Wildcats of Winsted. After such a grueling game a few hours earlier, no one knew how El Tigro would respond. But the Tiger Train got things rolling in the first and never looked back.

The Tigers scored individual runs in the first three innings, while the Wildcats scored one in the bottom of the third to cut it to 3-1. In the fourth, Ryan “Babe Ruth” Diers hit a one-out home run off of the Maple Lake sign atop the building in right field. There was mention that he had called this mammoth shot prior to game time, although he did not point to right while at the plate like the great Bambino. The next two batters got a walk and a single before Fielder drove two in for a 6-1 Tiger advantage.

Winsted scored single runs in the bottom of the fifth and the bottom of the eighth to make it 6-3. Los Tigres would tack on two insurance runs in the ninth for an 8-2 lead.

After pitching 5 2/3 innings of relief against Howard Lake, Chan draftee Thompson started on the mound for the locals. Thompson was outstanding, surrendering two runs over six innings, while working out of a few jams and picking up the win. Poptart Larson came in for the final three frames and the save, while he too had thrown 1 1/3 innings in the first game.

Diers led the way offensively, going 3-for-3 with a dinger. Dan Huber and Lawson both collected two knocks on the day, with four other Tigers all collecting a hit.

BP 0 vs. Sartell 10, at Maple Lake 120 NEW PHOTOS
(Monday, Sept. 2 – state tournament championship)
The Tigers traveled back to Maple Lake on Labor Day, looking to make magic happen one more time as they took on the Sartell Muskies in the Class ‘C’ state championship. But it was not meant to be as Sartell struck early and often and blanked the beleaguered Tigers. El Tigre looked just a split second slow in everything they did (possibly due to the 26 innings of baseball the day before) and Sartell capitalized on it. I believe Jake Fiedler said it best when he said that the Tigers just ran out of bullets.

Dan Huber got the start on the mound and took the loss. He threw a scoreless first inning before Sartell turned it on and scored 10 runs over their final five innings at bat. Draftees Kaus and Stolt were next in line to pitch. Zac Dahlke finished the game off for the Tigers on a semi-positive note and finally hung another zero in the bottom of the sixth inning. When it was all over Sartell had scored 10 runs on 14 hits and committed zero errors while Belle Plaine mustered zero runs on two hits and committed four errors. Travis Latzke and Huber each had a hit for your Chatfield Nine.

It was a tough way to end what was a great state tourney run by the Tigers and they left the stadium with their heads held high – just just not as high as if they had won the game. See you next year at Tiger Park!



First Time Since 1994

-by Brett Kruschke & Matt Schultz

The Belle Plaine Tigers beat the St. Benedict Saints 4-1 on Saturday, sending Team Tigertown to the final weekend of the state tournament for the first time since winning it all in 1994. A well-attended game by fans of both sides got their money’s worth at the end, but Belle Plaine worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the ninth to hang on for the win.

Belle Plaine’s seventh consecutive victory evened their season record at 16-16, and up next in the single-elimination format is the 16-11 Avon Lakers of the Victory League. The game will take place at 11 am Saturday, at Maple Lake.

If the Tigers keep winning, they will play twice on Sunday – 11 am at Delano, then 5 pm at Maple Lake – with the championship game set for noon Monday in Maple Lake. While you could ask around at Kwik Trip or Main Street Donut & Deli, you can also get the word on the Tigers’ fate directly at the various BPTigertown outlets –Twitter, Facebook and .com.

Whether you’ve been a lifelong fan or are a bandwagon jumper, the Tigers will gladly take one and all! Make the trek this weekend and support your local nine in what could be a historic weekend.

As for other local teams still alive, the RVL’s Jordan Brewers and the New Prague Orioles of the DRS will face off Saturday at 7:30 pm in Delano. Former Tiger Pat Moriarty and the Green Isle Irish face Howard Lake at Maple Lake at 1:30 pm Saturday, and with a win could match up with Belle Plaine in Sunday’s 11 am contest at Delano.

St. Benedict 1 vs. BP 4, at Delano 98 GAME PICS!
(Saturday, Aug. 24, Class ‘C’ State Tournament – second round)
Box Score
The Chatfield Nine travelled to Delano Municipal Stadium Saturday to take on the St. Benedict Saints in the second round of the state tournament – Belle Plaine’s first action after the Region 6C title granted them a first-round bye. The weather cooperated as the heat dissipated and the wind died down, making conditions nearly perfect. The playing surface was also as good as you could ask for in a state tourney game.

Ryan Diers started on the mound for El Tigre, looking to avenge a rough start and a first-round loss at last year’s big dance. St. Benedict struck first, scoring an unearned run in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the fourth the Tiger Train got rolling and loaded the bases, as Jake Fiedler and Pat Schultz singles were followed by Dan Huber reaching on an error. Matt Schultz sent a swinging bunt to third and the Benny third baseman came home to try and get the lead runner. The throw from third hit Fiedler, however, skipping away to the backstop to allow two runs to score. Diers then delivered a two-run single for a 4-1 Papa Tiger lead.

Diers looked sharp and threw very well on the night, surrendering only an unearned run in eight innings of work while striking out nine. Chanhassen draftee Justin Thompson came on for the ninth for the Tigers but the Saints would not go quietly, loading the bases with one out. But Thompson was able to escape the nail biter by getting a full-count, called third strike and a fly out to end the game, sending the Tigers to championship weekend.

The Tigers racked up nine hits on the night, with the Nos. 3, 4, and 5 hitters (Fiedler, Pat Schultz and Huber) each having two hits.

Tigers to Face St. Benedict in State Tournament Opener This Saturday


The Belle Plaine town baseball team is going to get a chance to face St. Benedict anyway.

The Tigers were scheduled to open the 2013 season against the Saints back on May 3 at Tiger Park but the game was called off due to weather. 

Almost four months later, the two teams will square off in the second round of the 48-team single-elimination Minnesota Class C State Tournament 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at Municipal Stadium in Delano. St. Benedict edged Owatonna 3-2 in the tournament’s first round this past Friday in Delano. Belle Plaine, the champions of Region 6C, earned a first-round bye with a record of 15-16. St. Benedict is 20-11.

Against Owatonna, St. Benedict pitcher Tanner Oakes tossed a complete-game four-hitter. Chances are it will be Oakes, a graduate of Jordan High School, up against Belle Plaine ace Ryan Diers this Saturday night. The two hurlers are members of the Augsburg College and St. Cloud State University baseball teams, respectively.

St. Benedict is one of four teams that qualified for the state Class C tourney out of Region 3C. The Saints, who are making their first-ever state tournament appearance, is the No. 4 seed from that region. New Market (1), New Prague (2) and Union Hill (3) are the other 3C teams that qualified.

The Belle Plaine/St. Benedict winner will advance to face either Cannon Falls or Avon 11:30 a.m. Aug. 31 at Maple Lake (see updated brackets inside).

Area Teams Advance

Most of area teams that made it to the state Class C tournament are still in it after week one.

Jordan squeezed past Spring Hill 3-2 in 13 innings on Sunday, New Prague pounded Springfield 8-1, Union Hill dumped Fairfax 6-1 and Green Isle slipped past Sleepy Eye 2-1.

This Sunday at 1:30 p.m., New Market, which like Belle Plaine received a first-round bye, will take on Fairmont in Delano. Union Hill play Fergus Falls 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Maple Lake and Green Isle has a date with Morris 11 a.m. Saturday at Maple Lake. New Prague will go against Plato 5 p.m. Friday in Delano and Jordan takes on Bertha 5 p.m. Friday in Maple Lake.


Tigers Win Region 6C,
Get First-Round Bye at State

-by Brett Kruschke & Matt Schultz

The Belle Plaine Tigers won their sixth straight game Friday with a 3-1 victory over the Fairfax Cardinals, clinching the Region 6C championship and a first-round bye in the Class ‘C’ state tournament. The quest for .500 will continue on Saturday, Aug. 24, when the 15-16 Tigers face off against Owatonna or St. Benedict at 7:30 pm in Delano.

In the meantime the Tigers will watch and wait, putting in a few practices and an intrasquad scrimmage while seeing what unfolds in the 48-team, single-elimination Class ‘C’ state tourney.

The Jordan Brewers punched their ticket to state with authority on Saturday versus Chanhassen, pummeling the Red Birds 18-0 in seven innings. Following the game Belle Plaine, Fairfax and Jordan were allowed to select three draftees and the Tigers had picks 1, 4 and 7. In order, they took Chanhassen’s Justin Thompson, St. Peter’s Ty Kaus and Andy Stolt of the New Ulm Kaiserhoff.

All three are pitchers as catchers are no longer eligible to be drafted, and pitchers are not allowed to hit anymore, either. For the rest of the draft picks from Region 6C, go to Twitter.com/RVLbaseball. All 10 RVL ‘C’ teams, due to the draft, will be represented at this year’s state tourney.

Clear your social calendar so you can cheer on the Tigers in Delano on Aug. 24! Until then, get right with your social media accounts and read up on the Tigers at BPTigertown on Twitter and Facebook, as well as the trusty ol’ standby, BPTigertown.com. Be sure to check out the season statistics, available at the website by clicking on the Stats tab.

Fairfax 1 @ BP 3 [Friday, Aug. 9 – Region 6C Championship 48 NEW PHOTOS!
Fairfax came to the land of the Tiger to take on the local nine, in what could be considered the first round of state in that the winner would have a first-round bye and not play until the second weekend. It was a great night for baseball and both teams were ready to play, looking to come away with the No. 1 draft pick while getting the much-needed two weeks of rest.

Ryan Diers started on the mound for El Tigre and was sharp as usual, earning the win. He surrendered one unearned run while striking out ten in seven innings of work. Derek Dahlke threw the final two innings giving up no runs, while stranding two on base in the bottom of the ninth, to earn the save. 

Jake Fiedler got the scoring started for the Tigers, plating Shawn “my hammy hurts” Larson in the 5th inning. On the play of the night, Travis Latzke attempted to steal home in the same inning with Nate Hartmann at the plate and a 2-2 count with two outs. Luckily, the ball wasn’t a strike and hit Hartmann, possibly saving Latzke from falling victim to Hartmann’s bat, white lightning. The Tigers ended up with seven hits in the last game of the year at the friendly confines of Tiger Park.


Host Fairfax Friday for First-Round Bye

BACK ROW, L-R: Nate Hartmann, Mgr. Mike Schultz, Josh Terrio, Jake Fiedler, Dylan Nyberg, Zac Dahlke, Tyler Hartman, Ross VanHauen, Pat Schultz.
FRONT ROW, L-R: Zach Horning, Matt Schultz, Dan Huber, Andy Lehman, Brad Lawson, Ryan Diers, Derek Dahlke, Travis Latzke, Shawn Larson.
NOT PICTURED: Trevor Latzke, Rob Wagener.

-by Brett Kruschke, Matt & Mike Schultz

The Belle Plaine Tigers are headed back to the Class ‘C’ state tournament for the fourth year in a row – and sixth time in the last seven years – after winning their first two region games last weekend against Arlington and Gaylord, respectively. While the Tigers are still two games under .500 for the season at 14-16, they’ve won five straight contests and are, clichés be darned, peaking at just the right time.

Although a state tourney berth has been secured, a lot remains on the line when the also state-bound Fairfax Cardinals arrive at Tiger Park on Friday for the Region 6C Championship at 7:30 pm. If the Tigers win, they will grab the region’s No. 1 seed and receive a first-round bye in the state tournament, opening on Aug. 24. If Team Tigertown loses, they will play next on Aug. 18. Both scenarios will be played at Delano.

Fairfax didn’t win a road game this year until reeling off three straight in the playoffs. They opened with a 7-0 win in the play-in game against the New Ulm Kaiserhoff, then stunned the No. 1-seed Jordan Brewers 2-1 before eking past Chanhassen 5-4. Remember, the Winthrop Eagles merged with Fairfax this season and some of that old Winthrop playoff magic – that the Tigers are all-too-familiar with – still seems to be in effect.

Tonight (Wednesday) Chanhassen will play Arlington and Gaylord will face Jordan in loser’s bracket elimination games. The winners will meet at 6 pm Saturday, at the high seed, for the third state berth from the region and the River Valley League.

Check us out at the usual channels: BPTigertown on Facebook, Twitter and the web. It’s the best time of year for town ball fans and the social media explosion has made it easier than ever to keep up with what’s happening not just locally, but across the state.

Arlington 1 at BP 8 (Friday, Aug. 2 – Region 6C opener)
Arlington came to Tiger Park to take on the local nine for the second time in less than a week, only this was the opening round of the region playoffs. Being that it is playoff time, the Tigers had practice this week and were ready to get the victory.

Ryan Diers started on the mound for El Tigre and was greeted with a first-inning run. That was it for Arlington the rest of the way, although they would threaten to score multiple times. The Tigers scored one in the third to tie it up and one in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. It remained that way until the seventh, the biggest inning of the night.

Ryan Diers threw seven innings of one-run ball Friday against the Arlington A's, improving his record to 3-0 this season.

The A’s loaded the bases and sent their No. 4 hitter to the plate in Scott Dose, who had already doubled in a run in the first. Diers was able to work out of the jam, getting Dose to ground out to end the inning and ending Diers’ night. The Tiger left-hander finished with a career-high 13 strikeouts. 

In the bottom of the seventh there was a fight at the bat rack and seven runs were scored, which finally gave Mama Tiger some breathing room after a close first seven innings. Derek Dahlke pitched a scoreless eighth inning before giving way to his brother, Zac, who threw a scoreless ninth. 

According to the scoreboard, the Tigers racked up 16 “hits.” Although a few of those may have been errors, we could use the extra points on the batting averages, so we’ll go with it. Leading the way in the hit parade was Travis Latzke, who had four knocks.

BP 5 at Gaylord 0 (Sunday, Aug. 4 – Region 6C semi-finals) 38 NEW GAME PICS!
The Tigertown Express rolled into Gaylord on Sunday night looking to punch their ticket to the state tournament for the fourth consecutive year, and in the process avenge a loss to the Islanders earlier this the season. The Tigers did both, coming away with a sharp 5-0 win.

The Tigers sent right-hander Jake Fiedler to the mound and he did not disappoint. Fiedler tossed seven innings of shutout ball for the Tigers and allowed only six hits. Zach Horning pitched the final two innings, giving up zero runs and only one hit. He kept the shutout intact and helped Fiedler earn his fourth win of the season. El Tigre’s pitching has been hot of late, giving up only four runs total in the last four games.

Offensively the Tigers were led by Brad Lawson and Dan Huber, who collected three hits apiece. Pat Schultz added two hits. Huber also turned in the best defensive (and possibly most important) play of the day. In the bottom of the first inning Gaylord had runners on first and second with one out and the batter got a hit to left field. Huber came up throwing and gunned the runner from second out at home, stopping any momentum the Islanders had going and setting the tone for a crisply-played game for the Tigers.

Tigers Open Region 6C Playoffs
at Home Friday

-by Brett Kruschke, Zac Dahlke, Mike & Matt Schultz

Tigertown’s Finest circled the wagons this past week, winning all three games to claim the RVL Central’s No. 2 seed and an opening-round home game on Friday at 7:30 pm against the Arlington A’s. After a non-league win against the Chaska Hitdawgs on Tuesday, the Tigers breezed by Chanhassen 8-1 on Friday and Arlington 7-2 on Sunday. BP’s league record is 9-4 this season and 13-16 overall.

The River Valley League/Region 6C playoffs will open on Wednesday night with a pair of Nos. 4 and 5 seed play-in games. The New Ulm Kaiserhoff will face the Fairfax Cardinals in the West division, while the Le Sueur Braves and Henderson Tigers will square off in a Central division battle.

If Belle Plaine beats Arlington on Friday, they will face the winner of Gaylord/Central No. 4 seed (Le Sueur or Henderson) on Sunday at 6 pm. With a loss, the Tigers will play Sunday against the loser of the aforementioned game, also at 6 pm – all tourney games are at the high seed. For full details, check the accompanying bracket.

If the Tigers win twice this weekend, they will punch their fourth straight state tournament ticket and sixth in the last seven years. Come on out and support the local nine! Also stayed updated at BPTigertown.com and BPTigertown on Facebook and Twitter.

Chaska Hitdawgs 2 at BP 3 (Tuesday, July 23)
The Tigers hosted the Chaska Hitdawgs on Tuesday and won a rare non-league game this year. Jake Fiedler got the start on mound for Tigertown and pitched three solid innings, allowing zero runs and striking out three. Ross VanHauen relieved Fiedler and pitched four innings, working in and out of trouble. He stranded eight runners through four innings, only allowing one run to score. Dan Huber came in and closed the door to secure the victory, allowing one run.

Offensively the Tigers were led by Huber’s two hits, a walk and an RBI, while Ryan Diers had two doubles and a run scored. The Tiger duo combined for five hits on the night and hopefully the team’s bats will wake up soon with playoffs starting this week.

Chanhassen 1 at BP 8 (Friday, July 26)
Chanhassen came to Tigertown Friday night with second place in the RVL Central up for grabs, while also looking to avenge an extra-inning loss to the Tigers earlier in the year. The Redbirds sent ace Justin Thompson to the mound and the Tigers countered with Diers, who is also pretty good. El Tigre struck early in this one, plating six in the second inning off five hits and one Redbird error. The Tigers never looked back and came away with a solid 8-1 win.

The aforementioned Diers was very sharp, collecting eight Ks and allowing only one earned run in seven innings of work. Diers gave way to “Everyday” Dan Huber, who completed his miraculous recovery from two-plus years of living in Las Vegas and pitched the final two innings of the game. For those of you keeping track, Dan pitched in all three of our games this week.

Offensively the Tigers were solid throughout the lineup, lashing out 13 hits and eight runs, all against Thompson. Nate Hartmann led the way with two hits and two RBI on the day. The Tigers were also strong on defense, turning three double plays while committing only one error.

BP 7 at Arlington 2 (Sunday, July 28)
El Tigre travelled to Arlington on Sunday, looking to clinch the No. 2 seed with a win against the A's. The weather warmed up from the previous few days and couldn't have been any better in the Tigers’ final regular-season game. 

Fiedler started on the mound and looked very sharp, working six innings while giving up two runs. Dan "I'm the new closer" Huber threw two innings without giving up a run. Derek Dahlke came on for the ninth and set the A's down one-two-three to finish the game.

The Tiger bats started out sluggish but were able to heat up, finishing with ten hits. Leading the way was Pat Schultz, Diers and Shawn Larson, all with two hits.

Tigers Hoping to Open Playoffs at Home

-by Brett Kruschke & Mike Schultz

It was a quiet last week for Team Tigertown, having lost a lone non-league game at Northfield on Thursday. But as Tiger Park shakes off the Bar-B-Q Days version of Disco Demolition Night after Sunday night’s fireworks extravaganza, the locals still have a chance to open the Region 6C playoffs at home.

The good news: the Tigers have qualified for Region 6C play! The reality slap: so will eight of the 10 River Valley League Class ‘C’ teams. The RVL no longer features a round of divisional playoffs for the Central and West divisions before advancing to the Region. Rather, this year consists of an eight-team playoff of RVL ‘C’ teams, with the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds from each division playing an elimination game next Wednesday night for the right to enter the fray.

 In the RVL Central, the 10-2 Jordan Brewers have one league game left and have clinched the No. 1 seed. The 7-3 Chanhassen Redbirds have three games left while the 7-4 Belle Plaine Tigers have two remaining, and the winner of this Friday’s Chan at BP game will own the tiebreaker. The 4-8 Le Sueur Braves will hold the tiebreaker against the 5-7 Henderson Tigers, if needed.

Visit RiverValleyLeague.com for a breakdown of the playoff tiebreakers for the RVL West. A link to the Region 6C bracket is on the front page of BPTigertown.com, and look for it to be published in next week’s Herald. In the meantime keep up with the late-season happenings on the following Twitter pages: MinnBaseball, RVLbaseball and BPTigertown.

The Tigers tried to take a bite out of the Chaska Hitdawgs last night (Tuesday); visit one of our outlets for an update, and don’t forget about Facebook.com/BPTigertown, either.

Friday night is Cambria Night and Fan Appreciation Night at Tiger Park, with the aforementioned Redbirds of Chanhassen stopping in for a 7:30 pm game of import. Cambria will be giving away promotional baseballs and their mascot, Cambi, will be on site for pictures and hugs. Cambi may also pinch-hit if manager Mike Schultz sees the right opportunity.

There will be the usual prize giveaways every inning as well, including a team-autographed bat and ball, food and drink items, 2014 Tigers season tickets and thanks to The Mulch Store, an awesome set of four Twins tickets to a game in August. You’re a winner if you watch Tiger baseball to begin with, but you might literally claim something as well on Friday night.

The Chatfield Chuggers will finish the regular season on Sunday at Arlington with a 6 p.m. tilt. The Tigers will then open the Region 6C playoffs on Friday, Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m. either at home against the West No. 3 seed or on the road versus the West No. 2 seed. Once again, full details coming in next week’s Herald.

BP 5 at Northfield 6 (Thursday, July 18)
Your Tigers traveled to Northfield on Thursday to take on the Northfield Knights and came away with a 6-5 loss, which was fairly impressive when you consider that the Tigers were so low on players that manager Mike Schultz was in the lineup. Zac Dahlke got the start on the mound due to the fact that Northfield is a B team and Dahlke always pitches against B teams. He was sharp in this one, going 6 2/3 innings while giving up five runs (three earned). Trevor Latzke relieved Dahlke in the seventh and went the rest of the way without giving up a run.

Offensively the Tigers were led by Pat Schultz who had three hits and Ross VanHauen, who had two. Derek Dahlke hit his first-ever town team homerun in the top of the ninth. This was even more impressive due to the fact that Dahlke had to work all day at the swimming pool that day and had to get up at 6:30 a.m. – I’m surprised he was even able to walk at that point. As stated earlier Mike Schultz actually had to play in the game and was fairly terrible, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout and two errors in the field. But in his defense, he was too busy trying to figure out a way to get himself out of the lineup to concentrate on the actual game.

Tigers Have Week to Forget

-by Brett Kruschke & Matt Schultz

Team Tigertown lost last week’s momentum of moving into first place by dropping their three latest contests, including a pair of league games. A shutout at Waterville on Wednesday was followed up by setbacks over the weekend to Henderson and Gaylord.

While they’ve certainly played a rigid non-league schedule this season, a 9-15 overall record is not very Tiger-like. In league play our striped friends now sit at 7-4, looking up at 7-2 Jordan and 6-3 Chanhassen. Henderson gives the RVL-Central four teams at .500-or-better with a 5-5 mark, while Le Sueur is 3-5.

The River Valley League won their fifth straight against the Dakota-Rice-Scott All-Stars on Friday night in Veseli, lashing out 26 hits in a 19-4 triumph. Belle Plaine sent a pair of reps to the game and Travis Latzke went 1-for-2, playing four innings in left field. First-time All-Star Ryan Diers went 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and four RBI, and he saw five frames in right field. Diers also decided not to unleash his donkey power on the DRS in the pregame home run contest.

With Bar-B-Q Days on tap the Tigers will be off this weekend, but not before travelling to Northfield for a 7:30 pm game on Thursday. Next Tuesday El Tigre will get their first peek at the Chaska Hitdawgs with a 7:30 pm contest at Tiger Park.

Don’t forget to follow the Tigers throughout the week at the “BPTigertown” handle via the usual social media outlets.

BP 0 at Waterville 3 (Wednesday, July 10)
The Tigertown Express rolled into Mosquitoville, I mean Waterville, to take on the hometown Indians. As seems to be the norm this year in non-league games the Tigers didn’t play well and suffered yet another loss, although there were a few bright spots in the contest. 

Jake Fiedler started on the mound in a tune-up for Sunday’s contest with Gaylord. He looked sharp, throwing four scoreless frames before giving way to Zac Dahlke. Dahlke went two innings while giving up two runs. Josh Terrio closed it out for El Tigre, going the final two innings while surrendering one run.

Leading the way at the plate was Pat Schultz and Dylan Nyberg with two hits each. The Tigers paltry hitting led them to have only two others with a hit, in Fiedler and Matt Schultz. These hitting woes need to stop and stop quickly as the local nine is approaching the playoffs in just a few weeks.

The brightest spot of the night was acting-manager Matt Schultz’s move to stop at Casey’s General Store on the way home for some delicious late-night eatery.

BP 5 at Henderson 6 (Saturday, July 13)
The Tigers of Belle Plaine travelled downriver to take on the Tigers of Henderson, who were looking to avenge a rainy loss from earlier in the season. Henderson’s field was in decent shape considering the fact there was a monsoon the night before and aside from a few small puddles, it was ready to play. 

The Beautiful Prairie Tigers started quickly as they got one in the first and two in the second thanks to a two-run blast by Nyberg. Diers was on the mound and wasn’t quite as sharp as his last outing, surrendering three runs over five innings of work and leaving with the score tied. Diers gave way to Shawn Larson, who finished out the game and suffered the loss.

In the seventh, Papa Tiger took a two-run lead on a single by Fiedler. But Henderson wouldn’t go quietly as they scored two in the eighth to tie it at five. In the ninth inning, Henderson got a one-out double and then a fly out to advance the runner and put a guy on third base with two outs. Henderson’s Matt Nagel hit a low first-pitch curveball to left center for the walk-off hit.
Leading the way for the Tigers offensively was Travis Latzke and Matt Schultz, both with three hits. Five other Tigers reached safely for 11 total hits, but there was just not enough of them in clutch situations. 

Gaylord 6 at BP 4 (Sunday, July 14) - 23 NEW PICS!
The Islanders came to town to take on the local nine on Senior Citizens Night starring Ernie Stumpf on the concertina. Gaylord brought with them the opposite of a senior citizen in young rising star, starting pitcher Brody Rodning. Rodning no-hit the Tigers in his four innings of work before yielding  to Trevor Vaubel.

Fiedler started on the mound for the Tigers in this sloppy game, and the Islanders scored three in the first inning thanks in part to a couple errors. Fiedler went five innings and gave up five runs. Zach Horning threw the final four frames, giving up one run. Neither pitcher was helped out by the defense, as Papa Tiger looked more like Baby Tiger, committing five errors on the day. 

El Tigre tried to mount a comeback in the ninth and loaded the bases to score two runs, but they left the tying run stranded on second to end the game. 

Leading the way offensively was Travis Latzke, Pat Schultz and Dan Huber, all with two hits. 


Tigers Finally Beat Jordan,
Move Into 1st Place

-by Brett Kruschke, Matt & Mike Schultz

The Town Tigers continued to excel in league play, grabbing the team’s first win over the Jordan Brewers in nine games. The 7-2 triumph improved Belle Plaine’s league record to 7-2 (9-12 overall), giving them a half-game advantage in the Central Division over the 6-2 Brewers.

Chanhassen is 5-2, Henderson is 4-5 and Le Sueur is 3-6. Gaylord is the RVL West’s only above-.500 team at 5-3, while the going is still early in the Class B East Division. Find the full RVL standings at RiverValleyLeague.com.

Team Tigertown had lost eight straight games to the Brewers, including an ugly 0-4 mark last year. The last time BP beat the Brew Crew was – anyone? anyone? – May 17, 2009, when Brad Lawson threw an 8-inning no-hitter in a 1-0 win at the Freeport Tournament. Since that’s apparently what it takes to beat the Brewers, Ryan Diers delivered seven no-hit innings in picking up the win on Sunday.

Tonight the Tiger Train is boarding for Waterville and a 7:30 p.m. matchup against the Indians. Friday is the RVL-DRS All-Star Game in Veseli at 8:00 p.m. Representing the Tigers will be outfielder Travis Latzke and pitcher/outfielder Ryan Diers, the latter of whom is also scheduled to partake in the Home Run Derby at 7 p.m.

On Saturday Chatfield’s Warriors will play at Henderson at 4 p.m., and Sunday night will wrap up a busy week when the Gaylord Islanders visit for a 6 p.m. battle. Sunday will be Senior Citizen Night, meaning that all seniors receive free admission. And everyone will be treated to the most rockin’ senior of all, as Ernie Stumpf will provide between-innings music all night long.

The regular-season schedule is winding down – come on out to Tiger Park! And in the meantime find the Tigers at “BPTigertown” on their web page, Facebook and Twitter.

Dassel-Cokato 5 at BP 1 (Tuesday, July 2)
Dassel-Cokato came to Tiger Park on the much-anticipated Mustache Night. Most Tigers donned their best mustache but that still lead to some pretty ugly mustaches. 

Ross “it only comes in in patches” VanHauen started on the mound for El Tigre, going six innings while surrendering two runs. Trevor “I can only grow my mustache on my chin” Latzke would go the final three innings, giving up three runs. 

Belle Plaine scored one in the eighth and loaded the bases in the ninth inning, putting the potential tying run at the plate. But an inning-ending double play killed the uprising. 

The boys of summer had 10 hits on the night and Travis Latzke lead the way with two. Leading the way in the mustache category for the Tigers were Dan Huber, Dylan Nyberg and Rob Wagener – the latter of whom was a place winner in the previous mustache contest in 2010.

Jordan 2 at BP 7 (Sunday, July 7) 140 NEW PICS!
The Jordan Brewers made the trip to Tigertown on Sunday for a showdown for first place in the RVL Central Division, and El Tigre came away with a nice 7-2 win.

The Tigers sent young lefty Ryan Diers to the mound in hopes of beating the Brewers for the first time in what seemed like forever. Diers pitched seven strong innings, giving up only one run and zero hits. Yep, that‘s right, manager Mike Schultz pulled the pitcher in the seventh inning of a no-hitter. In unrelated news, Schultz was not asked to manage in the upcoming DRS-RVL all-star game for reasons unbeknownst to him.

Dan Huber pitched the final two innings, only giving up one run on what was a less-than-perfect playing surface after an approximately 20 minute rain delay in the bottom of the eighth.

Pat Schultz led the Tigers offensively, collecting four hits. Travis Latzke and Jake Fiedler both had two hits on the day, but what else is new. The Tigers had 12 hits total and also only had one error, which is nice.


Mustache Night Photos

Dassel-Cokato 5 @ BP 1 [Mustache Night] (100 photos)

Tigers in Thick of Division Race

Ground Rules

-by Brett Kruschke, Matt & Mike Schultz

It might have been a victory only a mother could love, but Team Tigertown pulled out an extra-innings nail-biter Sunday for their third straight triumph in RVL play. The Tigers topped Le Sueur 6-2 on Friday and Fairfax 7-6 in 11 innings this past week.

The Jordan Brewers are 5-1 in league play and the Tigers are right on their tail at 6-2 (8-11 overall). The Chanhassen Red Birds are 5-2 while Henderson is 4-2 in the jumbled playoff picture. Le Sueur is bringing up the rear at 2-5. A top three finish is desired, as the regular season’s Nos. 4 and 5 seeds will play an elimination game on July 31 with the winner advancing to the eight-team playoff in Region 6C.

 Last night was Mustache Night at Tiger Park against Dassel-Cokato; check BPTigertown.com or @bptigertown on Twitter for the final score, and check Facebook.com/BPTigertown for pictures of the night’s best staches and your opportunity to vote on a winner! Also, don’t forget about the RVL website at RiverValleyLeague.com and the Twitter handle, @RVLbaseball.

The final quiet time of the season for the Tigers will be over the 4th of July, with play resuming Sunday night at 6 p.m. against the Jordan Brewers. Not only will it be Pulled Pork Sandwich Night – overseen by master barbecuer Ken Tritz – but it will be Matt Saxe Chevrolet Buick Night. The first 100 fans through the gates will get a free t-shirt, courtesy of Matt Saxe Chevrolet Buick! See you there.

Matt Saxe

BP 6 at Le Sueur 2 (Friday, June 28) BOX SCORE
El Tigre travelled to the Land of the Jolly Green Giant to take on the Braves on another night that threatened rain – shocker. The visiting Tigers scored one in the first on an RBI single by Nate Hartmann.

Le Sueur rainbowIn the bottom of the first, starter Shawn “Pop Tart” Larson got one out before it went from dry to pouring rain in about 0.3 seconds. The tarps were brought out and the game was delayed about ten minutes before it cleared up and brought on a beautiful double rainbow, which this Tiger loved.

The Braves tied it up in the third, but the Tiger Train did not let the tie last as they scored four runs in the fifth inning to take back the lead. The Braves answered with one in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-2, with Pop Tart coming out after going five strong innings as the pitcher of record.

Rob Wagener earned the hold for BP by pitching three shutout innings. Zach Horning came on for the non-save situation in the ninth and quickly recorded the first out. Things from there got about as hairy as the faces on mustache front-runners Mike Wagner and Andy Lehman as the Braves loaded the bases.  Horning escaped the wooly mammoth of a frenzy by getting the final two outs via an F-6 and F-3.

The Tigers had nine hits and were led by Hartmann, who recorded three hits and three RBI. Jake Fiedler and Larson also chipped in two hits apiece.

Diers Merica

Fairfax 6 at BP 7 (Sunday, June 30 – 11 innings)
The Fairfax Cardinals came to town on Coborn’s and Little League Night, looking to stop the Tigers from getting their first three-game win streak of the season. The Cardinals came in with a 1-6 league record but always seem to play close games with Tigertown, and this one was no different.

Going into the ninth Belle Plaine had a 5-2 lead, which felt pretty good at the time. But after three hits – none of which were hit very hard – and one hit-by-pitch, the score was tied at five and Belle Plaine was reeling.

Both teams went scoreless in the tenth. In the eleventh, Fairfax scored an unearned run off pitcher Zac Dahlke to take a 6-5 lead. Jake Fiedler led off Tiger 11th with a walk and Ryan Diers got hit by a pitch, making it first and second with nobody out. A failed bunt attempt was the first out of the inning.

Pat Fires Strike

Dan Huber also walked, loading the bases. A single by Brad Lawson tied the game at six, and Zac Dahlke stepped into the batter’s box with a chance to be the hero and make himself the winning pitcher of record. Dahlke walked on four straight pitches and the Tigers plated the winning run – not super heroic, but we’ll take it.

Diers started on the mound and went six strong innings, giving up only one unearned run. Fiedler went the next three frames, giving up four runs (two earned) while Dahlke scooped up the win with one unearned run over two innings.

Offensively the Tigers were led by Lawson, who had three hits, and as always by Travis Latzke, who also had three hits. Travis also got hit by a pitch and walked once so he was on base in five of his six plate appearances, which is pretty good.

Dug Out 

Three True Outcomes for Tigers

Behind Home Plate

-by Brett Kruschke, Matt & Mike Schultz

Over the past week the Tigertown Express experienced each of three possibilities in town team baseball: a win, a loss and a rainout. The Tigers suffered a 10-3 setback at Chaska last Tuesday, were rained out after two innings of Friday’s home game against Randolph, and blitzed the New Ulm Kaiserhoff 9-3 on Sunday.

The River Valley League Central Division standings are tighter than a snare drum, as Jordan sits on top at 4-1 with Belle Plaine, Chanhassen and Henderson all at 4-2. Le Sueur is still within striking distance at 2-3. Overall, the Tigers are 6-11 this season.

The Chatfield Nine plays next on Friday at Le Sueur, 7:30 pm first pitch. Sunday at 6:00 pm will be a rare double promotion: Little League Night, meaning all Little Leaguers in attendance will receive a free hot dog and 50 cents for each foul ball they can chase down (oh, wait – the latter part is always in effect). Players are encouraged to wear their jerseys.

CoburnsIt will also be Coborn’s Night. Bring any non-perishable food item (multiple items would be even better!) to  Sunday’s game, and it will be donated to the Belle Plaine Food Shelf. You may then sign up to enter a drawing for a $25 and $50 Coborn’s gift certificate! Winners will be announced toward the end of the game.

On Tuesday at Tiger Park, Mustache Night is back! All fans and players are welcome to bring their best cookie duster to the ballpark, but free fake mustaches will also be handed out at the gate. The details have not yet been decided, but some kind of online voting at facebook.com/bptigertown is being planned to crown a champion. Oh and by the way, Shawn Larson’s former squad, the Dassel-Cokato Saints, will be in town for a 7:30 pm duel.

Twitter is exploding in the amateur baseball community this season, so be sure to stay on top of things by following the Tigers at twitter.com/bptigertown. The team website is also yours for the samplin’, at bptigertown.com.

BP 3 at Chaska 10 (Tuesday, June 18)
The Tigers headed to Chaska to take on their last Class B juggernaut for the year, in the Chaska Cubs. The playing field looked glorious and aside from nagging mosquitos, you could not tell this park year-in and year-out is flooded by the MN River. Maybe it’s the river clay that keeps that grass so green in Chaska.

El Tigre got things started out right, as they loaded the bases in the first and a three-run double by Nate Hartmann scored three to quickly give Papa Tiger a three-run cushion. Ryan Diers made his mound debut on the year and went two innings without giving up a run. Rob Wagener, also making his 2013 mound debut and not having pitched in nearly two years, came on in the third.

Wagener, not wanting to carry the media pressure he had a few years ago when he went the whole year without surrendering an earned run, gave up one earned run in his one inning of work.

Things looked good for the Tigers after six innings with the score knotted at three. The Tigers’ leadoff hitter got on in the seventh, but just as quickly he was picked off of first – and things spun out of control from there. The Cubbies got four runs in the seventh and three runs in the eighth, while the Tigertown Express could muster nothing. 
Hartmann led the way, going 2-for-3 with three RBI. Four other Tigers came away with one hit apiece in the contest. 

BP 9 @ New Ulm Kaiserhoff 3 (Sunday, June 23)
Belle Plaine traveled to Johnson Park in New Ulm looking to get back on track and get into the win column, and they came away with a big win against the Kaiserhoff. The Tigers pounded out 14 hits on the day. Most of the pounding was done by Ryan Diers, Jake Fiedler and Travis Latzke, who each had four hits.

Diers had a two-run homerun among his four knocks and Fiedler was a homerun away from hitting for the cycle. Latzke’s four-hit day was also impressive but even more so was the fact that he remembered all of his gear for the game and didn’t have to call his mom once to have her run anything down to New Ulm quick before the game started.

Diers also started on the mound and went four strong innings, giving up zero runs. Fiedler pitched the next four, picking up the win and Zach Dahlke worked the last inning for the Tigers. The Tiger defense had zero errors on the day and turned two double plays.

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses as manager Mike Schultz’s near ridiculous .667 average took a crushing blow when he went 0-for-3 on the day, lowering his average to a paltry .333. His credibility as a manager also took a hit due to the fact that he actually put himself in a game. But all in all it was a good win for the Tigers and hopefully will be the first of many in a row.

Grand Stand 

Tigers Thumped by Rival Brewers

MiniMet Rainbow

-by Brett Kruschke & Matt Schultz

Team Tigertown looked to be taking a step forward this weekend when with a 9-6 win at St. Peter behind them, they were hanging tough early with the Class ‘C’ juggernaut Jordan Brewers. That’s when the floodgates opened and the hosts put up a nine-spot in the fourth inning, snapping the Tigers back to reality in an 11-1, 7-inning defeat.

Belle Plaine had their chance to move into first place in the RVL-Central with a win, but instead fell to 3-2 in league play and 5-10 overall. Jordan is atop the competitive Central division at 4-1, with Chanhassen and Henderson sitting at 4-2. Le Sueur is in fifth place at 2-3.

The road got no easier for the Tigers with a matchup at the Chaska Cubs last night; check www.bptigertown.com just so you can see the fancy new widget Twitter has come up with (or, visit www.twitter.com/bptigertown). After years as a group on Facebook, the Tigers have a new page on the social media giant that you can ‘Like’ (whether you really do or not) at www.facebook.com/bptigertown.

On Friday the sadly narrower streets of Belle Plaine will roll out a thinner red carpet for the Randolph Railcats at 7:30 pm. Sunday will feature a trek to another city of beer brewing legend with a 2 p.m. matchup against the New Ulm Kaiserhoff.

In promotional news the Tigers are bringing back Mustache Night, which was the talked about hit of the summer in 2010. As an added bonus this year, compliments of RTL Construction magnate and Tiger Shawn Larson, the first 216 fans in attendance will receive a free fake mustache!  

2010 Mustache Night winner Nick Volek - and daughter Presley
2010 Mustache Night winner Nick Volek - and daughter Presley

BP 9 at St. Peter 6 (Friday, June 14) Box Score
The Tigertown Express travelled southbound on Hwy. 169 Friday to take on their first RVL-West division opponent this year in the St. Peter Saints. The night threatened rain, as it always seems to when we head to St. Peter. But aside from a light dusting of rain during pregame, the contest would be played in full on what turned out to be a pretty nice night. 

Larson started on the mound for the locals and he was greeted by a St. Peter run in the first. It would be all Tigers from there on as they would take the lead and never relinquish it. The 4th inning started with a leadoff walk and the next five Tigers came up with singles. The inning would end with El Tigre scoring seven runs to take a 7-1 lead.

The Saints answered with three runs in the bottom of the 4th and it could’ve been more. Larson was able to escape with a few runners stranded, although not before a hard-hit ground ball found his knee and forced him to the ground (flashback to the 2012 state tournament). Larson finished the inning and came out for the 5th inning, however. 

St. Peter Ballpark

After a leadoff double Larson was removed, giving way to Jake Fiedler. Fiedler came in and got out of the inning, with the Saints getting two runs to cut the Tiger lead to one.

In the top of the sixth, Nate Hartmann led off with a single and Matt Schultz followed with a wind-aided double to put runners at second and third with no outs. The next two batters flailed, leaving it up to Pat Schultz. The veteran catcher came up big with a two-run “bomb” (actually a double, but some young Tigers don’t know the definition of a bomb in baseball) to take a three-run lead. 

The lead would be all Fiedler would need as he finished the game and got his first win as a Tiger. He also paced the way offensively with three of the team’s 13 hits. Travis Latzke, Ryan Diers and Pat Schultz all notched two hits, with the latter also recording a walk and three RBI.

Jordan Scoreboard

BP 1 at Jordan 11 (7 innings – Sunday, June 16) Box Score
The Tigertown Express travelled north on 169 for a Father’s Day matchup with the Jordan Brewers.  Another day of threatening rain, and rain it would – rain runs.

Not much to say, except that the Brewers would do something this writer has never seen, when they had TEN straight singles in the fourth, leading to nine runs. Another thing this writer has never seen was when it was raining and there seemed to be no clouds in the sky for the rain to be coming from. Some Tigers ventured to believe it was tears from the Lord for having to watch the ugly affair of a game. 

Team Tigertown had six hits, with no Tiger having more than one. Larson led the sixth off with a double and was replaced by pinch-runner Trevor Latzke. A Dan Huber sac fly plated Latzke, helping the locals avoid a shutout.

VanHauen pitches to Lucas  

Tigers Win One at Tough Classic

St. Louis Park Almost No-Hits Renner, SD for Championship

Tiger Park

-by Brett Kruschke, Mike & Matt Schultz

Team Tigertown dropped three of their past four games over the last week-plus, including a pair of setbacks to last year’s state champs in Minnesota (Victoria Vic’s) and South Dakota (Renner Monarchs). For the season, the Tiger Train is squeaking along with a 4-9 record (2-1 RVL).

Remind me of this one next year but it’s clear the Big Tiger in the Sky was looking over Tiger Park this weekend, as rain largely avoided our hallowed grounds despite dousing a good portion of the rest of the state. Not only were all 10 games of the 15th annual Tigertown Classic played, but a few even went into extra innings.

No Hitter??

St. Louis Park ended up taking home the Lyle Lambrecht-crafted home plate trophy, as left-hander John Gallice came two outs short of a seven-inning no-hitter in a 5-1 championship game win over Renner. Teasingly called the “Tim Huber Classic” by his current teammates, the former Tiger broke up Gallice’s no-hitter with a clean single to right field in the 7th frame.

2013 Tiger Classic Champions - St. Louis Park

For all of the scores and a hoard of pictures from this weekend’s action, please visit the team website at www.bptigertown.com. The Twitter account, @bptigertown, was also cooking to a borderline unhealthy level this weekend, so check that out as well. 245 TIGERTOWN CLASSIC PICS

The Tigers pick things back up on Friday, when they travel to St. Peter for a 7:30 pm RVL battle. On Sunday league play continues with a 6:00 pm stop in Jordan against their Highway 169 rivals. Tuesday will complete the three-game road trip with a visit to the ever-powerful Chaska Cubs, at 7:30 pm.

Finally, I figured I would add my name to the byline going forward so the Schultz boys (and occasionally Brad Lawson) don’t get blamed any longer for my goofiness. It will also be in the general order of contribution: I will be writing the intros, while the brothers Schultz will be covering the games. Hopefully the inhabitants of Tigerland can return to a full night’s rest after this ground-shaking news.

BP 2 at Victoria 6 (Tuesday, June 4) Box Score
The Tigers travelled to Victoria last Tuesday to face the first of two defending state champions over the next week, as the Vic’s won the Minnesota Class B Tournament in 2012. The Vic’s scored first in this one, plating three runs in the second without a hit. There were two walks and two hit batsmen in the inning as well, but who’s counting.  The Tigers answered back with two in the third off a Dan Huber sacrifice fly and a Nate Hartmann single, but they couldn’t muster any more runs along the way and eventually lost by a final of 6-2.

Zac Dahlke got the nod on the hill and took the loss. Dahlke only gave up five hits, but he walked three and hit two in four innings of work. Zac Horning threw two shutout innings and Mike Wagener pitched a pair of frames, giving up only one run.  Offensively Belle Plaine only managed six hits, two of which came from Hartmann.  Nothing else notable or exciting happened in this game.


Renner, SD 9 at BP 0 (Friday, June 7 – Tigertown Classic – 7 innings) Box Score
Friday night the Tigers played their first game of the 2013 Tigertown Classic and faced former Tigers’ player Tim Huber and his current team, the Renner Monarchs. The Monarchs won the South Dakota amateur baseball tournament in 2012. Team Tigertown didn’t fare any better against this state champion, eventually losing 9-0. The damage was done early in this one as Renner scored six in the second and never looked back.

The Tigers only managed two hits on the day and the Renner pitcher faced only five batters over the minimum. In the good news department he only struck out the side twice on the night and in 58% of their at-bats, Tiger hitters didn’t strike out. In what may be the worst moral victory ever, Tiger pitching held Tim Huber hitless on the night. This allowed them to heckle him without remorse throughout the rest of the tournament and heckle him they did.

Timmy Ballgame

Union Hill 2 at BP 8 (Saturday, June 8 – Tigertown Classic – 7 innings) Box Score
After failing to score in the opening round of the tournament, the Tigers were looking to change that on Saturday night. Belle Plaine was able to do just that as Travis Latzke led off the bottom of the first with a double before scoring on a sac fly by Jake Fiedler. It would be all Tigers fromthere as the hometown favorites scored in five of their six at-bats.

Dan Huber started on the mound and surrendered one run over four innings of work. He yielded to  Shawn Larson, who worked the rest of the way and allowed one run.   

Team Tigertown cracked out 10 hits in the game, with Huber going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Pat Schultz and Travis Latzke pitched in with two hits apiece.
Minneapolis Angels 6 at BP 2 (Sunday, June 9 – Tigertown Classic – 7 innings)
Box Score
This being the third game in three days, along with working at the tournament and other activities, the Tigers bats were not able to get much going as they all seemed a little slower than normal. Belle Plaine managed only seven hits and two runs, which wasn’t enough to win the consolation championship. 

Josh Terrio started on the mound in his first appearance of the year, and he surrendered four runs in four innings of work. Terrio would give way to Jake Scherer, who was also making his first appearance of the year. “Shears” would finish the game, surrendering two runs over three innings of work. 

No Tiger had more than one hit in the game, with seven different Tigers reaching base safely.

Tiger Park

Tigers Warming as Classic Arrives

TigerTown Classic Trophy

by Matt Schultz--by Matt Schultz

After a 1-6 start to the season, Team Tigertown won a pair of league games in impressive fashion to get back on the right track. The Tigers 10-runned Le Sueur on Friday before taking down the up-and-coming Red Birds of Chanhassen in extra innings on Sunday. Belle Plaine is 3-6 this year, 2-1 in the River Valley League.

Last night the Tiger Train rolled to Victoria to take on the Class ‘B’ State Champion Vic’s; check www.bptigertown.com and/or the Tigers’ Twitter account, @bptigertown, for details.

Tiger Open Entrants

Congratulations are in order to the foursome of Carl Lundborg, Mike DeGroot, Brad Lawson and Connor Stoltz for firing a 57 Saturday at Valley View Golf Course to capture the 2013 Tiger Open title. And just as well, many thanks to all those who played in and sponsored the tournament to make it a fun and successful fundraiser once again. TIGER OPEN PICS!

Tiger Open Champs

The other major annual fundraiser for the Tigers is this weekend’s Tigertown Classic, and the 15th rendition gets underway Friday at 6:30 pm when long-time tournament staples Freeport and Union Hill face off. Belle Plaine will then match up against former Tiger Tim Huber and the mighty Renner Monarchs of South Dakota. First pitch for Game 2 is approximately 8:30 pm, and all evening long it will be Half-Price Burger Night.

On Saturday the action starts at 10:30 am when the Minneapolis Angels and defending champion Blue Earth Pirates walk the plank. St. Louis Park and Scott Biniek’s Upsala Blue Jays join the party at 12:45 pm in Game 4, and three more games will follow on Saturday. Sunday will feature three games, with the championship at 3:30 pm.
See you at the ballpark!   

Le Sueur 7 at BP 17 (Friday, May 31 – 8 innings) Box Score
The Braves travelled to Tigertown in what turned out to be a great night for baseball. The Tigers got things going early, scoring three times in the first inning. The Braves would come back in the third, scoring three of their own to tie the game up. In the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers put up a five spot, and they would never relinquish that lead. In the 6th, 7th and 8th innings, the Tigers would score three, four and two runs to put the ten-run-rule in effect.

Brad Lawson started on the mound for the Tigers and didn’t have his usual stuff, lasting only three innings. Shawn Larson came in for the Tigers and went the rest of the way, picking up his second win on the year. 

The Tiger bats came alive in this game as they cracked out 18 hits. Six Tigers enjoyed multi-hit games, led by Travis Latzke, Dan Huber and Ryan Diers who all had three hits apiece. Diers also had six RBI.

BP 7 at Chanhassen 6 (Sunday, June 2 – 10 innings) Box Score
In the Tigers’ first RVL road contest of the year, they travelled to Chanhassen for a scheduled 6 pm start time. Scheduled being the key word in that sentence as the game would start late due to unknown reasons.      

Being on the road the Tigers were up first, and they scored three runs to start off the game on another beautiful night for baseball. Dan Huber was on the mound and threw well to keep the Tigers leading all night. The Tigers never trailed in the game and would go into the bottom of the ninth with a 6-4 lead.  Huber went to the mound to try and come away with the complete-game victory. 

The first two runners reached first and second before turning to the bullpen and Ross VanHauen. VanHauen got an out when the first batter sacrifice bunted. But the Tigers would not escape unscathed as the Redbirds tied the score at six to send it to extras.

In the top of the 10th Huber got on with a single and Diers followed with a walk, putting runners at first and second.  Huber got a great jump stealing third and caused the pitcher to balk, putting runners at second and third with one out. Matt Schultz followed with a sacrifice fly, plating the go-ahead run. 

Chanhassen put a runner to on first in the bottom of the 10th, but that was as far as the threat would go and Vanhauen nabbed his first win of the year. 

Four Tigers had multi-hit games, with Latzke, Jake Fiedler, Huber and Josh Terrio pacing the way. Fiedler and Matt Schultz each had two RBI on the day. 

Tiger Open Sponsors

Tigers' Cold Streak Continues

Henderson Game

By Brad LawsonTeam TigerTowns' cold streak continued on Friday night, as they lost to the Henderson Tigers by a score of 4-3 in a rain shortened eight inning game.

Henderson 4 @ BP 3 (8 inns.) ~ Friday, May 24, 2013
31 New Photos
| Box Score

Belle Plaine fell behind early giving up one run in the top of the first, and never led in the game. The tigers never trailed by more than two runs in the game, but couldn’t get that big hit they needed to pull ahead of the visiting tigers.

Jake Fielder took the mound to start the game and went four innings giving up all four runs and took the loss for the local nine. Brad Lawson came in to finish off the final four innings of the game and didn’t give up any runs to keep the local nine in contention, but the offense was dead and couldn’t put across any runs.

Base Runner
The Tigers best chance to tie the game came in the bottom of the eighth, when Nate Hartman singled up the middle. However, with the heavy rain at the time base runner Ryan Diers couldn’t get his footing and was thrown out at the plate on the play.

Belle Plaines quiet offense was led by starting pitcher Jake Fielder who contributed two hits. Josh Terrio, Dan Huber, Hartman, and Lawson also chipped in a hit as well.

This weekend is going to be a busy weekend around Tigertown. On Friday night the Tigers will play host to the LeSueur Braves for a 7:30 p.m. first pitch. Friday night will also be RTL Construction night at the ballpark; all fans in attendance will receive something free of charge from the concession stand courtesy of RTL Construction. Saturday at 1 p.m. the Tigers will be holding their annual golf outing ‘Tiger Open’ out at Valley View Golf Course. There is still time to sign up your team for the Tiger Open, or just show up at the course and we will pair you up with a group!! Sunday the Tigers will conclude their busy weekend with a road trip to Chanhassen for a 6 p.m. first pitch. Next Tuesday, June 4 the Tigers will travel to Victoria for a 7:30 p.m. game.

Other upcoming dates to post on your calendar are June 7-9 (Tigertown Classic Tournament), June 30 (Coborns night at the ballpark), and July 7 (Matt Saxe Chevrolet night at the ballpark).

Tigers Whitewashed
at Black Sox Tourney

Freeport Ballpark

--by Mike & Matt Schultz

Mike SchultzMatt SchultzTeam Tigertown got their first victory over the past week but finished with a sour taste in their mouth, exiting quietly at the Black Sox Tourney in Freeport with a pair of shutout losses. Belle Plaine is now 1-5 on the season with league play about to begin.

Henderson will kick off River Valley action when they arrive this Friday at 7:30 pm for Dollar Beer Night. That will be El Tigre’s only game of the week but fear not, as the schedule kicks into full throttle after Memorial Day Weekend.

Folks, the Tigers are nearing their two most important fundraisers of the year – the Tiger Open golf tourney at Valley View Golf Course on Saturday, June 1, at 1 p.m. and the Tigertown Classic the following weekend. As for the Open, we’ll take golfers – individuals, groups or foursomes – right up until the opening tee shot trickles out of bounds. Find details at www.bptigertown.com and click on the big golf ball on the front page; we’d love to have you!

Also don’t forget to join the Tigers on Facebook by searching for “Belle Plaine Tigers Town Team Baseball” and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bptigertown.

Finally, the Tigers have a new online store via Innovative Graphics! You can now order BP town team shirts, shorts, sweatpants, hoodies and more – but only through June 2. The link is available at the team website. The Belle Plaine Baseball Association is also making available to fans the Tigers’ popular red and navy caps, and they will be available all season in the concession stand.

Young America

BP 6 at Young America 3 (Wednesday, May 15)
The Tigers travelled to Young America looking for their first win on the season and were able to pull one off in exciting fashion.  Young America scored first by getting an unearned run off starter Jake Fiedler in the second inning. In the top of the third the Tigers answered back with two runs to take back the lead, while another run in the fourth made it 3-1. It stayed that way until Young America scored two in the seventh to tie it up. In the ninth the Tigers scored three to take the lead back and Shawn Larson pitched the final frame to earn his – and the Tigers’ – first win of the season.

Offensively the Tigers collected 16 hits. Fiedler had five, Dan Huber had three and Ross VanHauen, Dylan Nyberg and Tyler Hartmann had two apiece. Fiedler also started the game on the mound and went five strong innings, giving up only one unearned run. Zac Dahlke gave up two runs over the next two frames, and Larson threw the last two and gave up no runs. Mike Schultz also earned his first victory as skipper and in his best piece of managing yet, he put himself in right field and went 1-for-2 and also had a great sacrifice bunt during the ninth-inning rally.


BP 0 vs. North St. Paul Roosters 3 at Freeport (7 innings, Saturday, May 18)
Team Tigertown ventured up to Freeport for the annual Black Sox Tournament, and drew the Class ‘A’ North St. Paul Roosters in the first round. The rain had quit early morning to make way for a nice day, and the Tigers sent Ross VanHauen to the mound to battle the Roosters. VanHauen would throw six strong innings, giving up three runs before giving way to Zac Dahlke who threw a 1-2-3 seventh inning. 

The Tigers were no-hit until the seventh inning when Dan Huber led off with a single, and it looked like the team was going to try and mount a comeback in the last inning (7-inning games, per the tournament format). But that effort was quickly diminished when Dylan Nyberg lined to the first basemen who stepped on first to double off Huber. The Roosters pitcher retired the next batter and the game was over. 

BP 0 vs. New Market 3 at Freeport (7 innings, Saturday, May 18)
The Tigers had no time to dwell on the previous loss, as they were playing the next game against the Muskies from New Market. After a few hot dogs and some much needed water and Gatorade, the Tigers took to hitting as they were the visiting team on the scoreboard. Tiger hitting picked up a little bit as VanHauen and Huber both recorded first-inning hits, but they could not capitalize and didn’t score. Huber started on the mound for the Tigers and threw a very good game, reminding some Tigers of the Huber of old. He went the distance and allowed three unearned runs. 

The game was tied at zero going into the bottom of the sixth when the Muskies’ No. 9 hitter led off with a swinging bunt and fourth-string catcher Matt Schultz air-mailed the ball into right field for an error, with the hitter ending up on second. Huber put forth a valiant effort, but the runner on second ended up scoring later in the inning on a sacrifice fly. Two more runs would score in the inning and the Tigers went rather harmlessly in the seventh to close out the game. 

Tigers hitting was still rather paltry as they wound up with four total hits – one each by VanHauen and Josh Terrio. Huber had two hits in the game and finished the day 3-for-6.

Freeport Dugout


Tigers Off to Cool Start

PL Jays

Matt Schultz--by Mike Schultz

The town Tigers had a rough weekend in front of the home crowd, dropping a pair of ugly losses to slide to 0-3 to start the season. Friday night was a 10-6 setback in a walkfest with Cannon Falls, while the Shakopee Indians scalped the Tigers hard with a 16-0 dismissal in seven innings on Sunday.

One of the great things about baseball though, of course, is you get to hop right back on the horse that bucked you off. The Tigers will travel to Young America’s most-awesome mini-golf ballpark tonight to try to right their wrongs at 7:30 pm.

This weekend will feature the seventh annual excursion to Freeport for the Black Sox Tourney. Belle Plaine’s first matchup is against the hated North St. Paul Roosters at 12:45 pm Saturday. If the Tigers win, they play next at 11:00 am Sunday morning; should they lose, it will be 3:00 pm Saturday.

All games will be played at Freeport this year as our central Minnesota brethren installed lights this spring.

As for the usuals: may we suggest you buy a season ticket, play in the Tiger Open, and check us out at www.bptigertown.com,  @bptigertown on Twitter and Belle Plaine Tigers Town Team Baseball on Facebook.

Cannon Falls 10 at BP 6 (Friday, May 10)
In the words of former Tiger and current high school principal Dave Kreft, “The best thing about this game was that it ended.” In what may have been the worst game ever played, both teams combined for 19 walks, at least 10 errors, 18 hits and 16 runs over the span of this three-plus hour game.

There were a few bright spots, though, as Ross VanHauen had at least two hits, but due to some poor bookkeeping (another area the Tigers struggled in this game) no-one is sure how he got on base the third time. Dan Huber and Shawn Larson both had two hits on the day as well. Nate Hartman also got his first hit as a Tiger for the second time.

Trevor Latzke started his second game of the young season and wasn’t his usual efficient self. He departed after two innings and five runs given up, although he wasn‘t helped much by errors and a strike zone that resembled a soup can. VanHauen, Jake Fiedler and Huber combined to throw the rest of the way and all threw pretty well.

Strike Zone

The Tigers led briefly in this game after putting up three runs in the first off of three hits and two walks. Things went downhill from there and frankly not much more needs to, or should be, said about this game. Except that new manager Mike Schultz made his debut and also turned in a very poor performance hitting infield prior to the game.

Lawson and Nyberg

Shakopee Indians 16 at BP 0 (7 innings – Sunday, May 12)

The Tigers turned in a performance that even a mother would have trouble loving in this one. Brad Lawson drew the short straw and started on the mound against the Indians of Shakopee. Brad threw fairly well against a lineup that is really good (sorry, couldn’t think of anything clever or witty to say). He pitched five innings and took his first loss of the year for the Tigers. Mike Wagner made his pitching debut as a Tiger after taking eight years off from baseball to grow a beard, and he helped the Tigers out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth with only minimal damage.

The Tigers were led offensively by bookkeeper Dylan O’Brien, who was able to keep an extremely accurate book and not miss any of the Tigers’ four hits.

The play of the day was turned in by young manager Mike Schultz. He successfully argued to the umpire that a balk should have been called against his own team and it worked out helping the Tigers. Pitcher Brad Lawson used the newly outlawed third-to-first pick-off move to pick a runner off, but the Tigers botched the rundown allowing the runner from third to score and the runner from first to go to third.  Schultz lobbied for a balk to be called against Lawson and it was, moving the runner that had advanced to third back to second.

In his second best move of the day Schultz also put himself in to pitch in the seventh and he promptly got two outs and kept his ERA at 0.00 for the year. (Fairness in Reporting Act, Schultz also wrote this article so if you noticed that I made myself sound really good, that’s why).

Troy Gudmonson and $Bill

Tigers’ New Home Opener This Friday

PL Jays

Matt Schultz--by Matt Schultz

The Tigers’ season was scheduled to start last Friday against St. Benedict.  But Mother Nature did not cooperate and the Tigers were forced to cancel due to all-around bad weather, including rain, snow and cold temps. Dollar Dog Night has been switched to Friday, May 10, against Cannon Falls, so not all is lost in the dreary rainout.

The Tigers did take the field on Sunday at Prior Lake, suffering a 9-3 setback to the Jays.

Aside from Cannon Falls on Friday, the Tigers will host the Class B-powerhouse Shakopee Indians on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m

Tigers 3 @ Prior Lake Jays 9 (Sunday, May 5)
Joe ChapmaWith Friday’s cancellation, Sunday was officially the first game under new manager Mike Schultz – except he forgot on purpose to show up, and the game was managed by brother, Matt.  [For the record, not a good idea.] The weather couldn’t have been any better, considering how bad this spring has been. 

The Tigers quickly fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first, but the Prior Lake lead was short-lived. Dan Huber came up in the top of the second and belted his first home run of the year – on the first pitch he saw. 

Speaking of firsts, the Tigers welcomed three new players to the team in Jake Fielder, Mike Wagner and Ross VanHauen – the latter of whom came up with three hits in his Tigertown debut. Also making his second Tigertown debut was Nate Hartmann.

Trevor Latzke started on the mound and scattered seven runs over four innings of work and took the loss. Zac Dahlke relieved him and threw well in two innings of work. The last two innings were left to Tiger newbies VanHauen and Fielder, who also both looked good.    

Hitting stars for the Tigers were Huber with the home run, VanHauen with three hits and Tyler Hartmann chipped in two hits. In this new era of Tiger baseball, the Tigers committed no errors in what seems like the first game since this writer started playing eight years ago.

Season Tickets on Sale Now

Three Weeks 'Til Opening Night!

Three Weeks Til Opening Day
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Belle Plaine Baseball Association
Annual Meeting

by Gerry Meyer

Written by Gerry MeyerMike Schultz 2013 Tiger Town Team Manager .
At their recent 2013 organizational meeting, the Belle Plaine Baseball Association (BPBA) unanimously selected Mike Schultz to skipper the Tigers over the ‘13 season. Mike is a 10 year veteran of Belle Plaine town team baseball and will use that experience as the captain of the Tiger ship. Schultz will succeed Jeff Miller who turned in the reins after a four year run as the man calling the shots.

The present Board members of the BPBA are: Shane Hofmann, Brett Kruschke, Dennis Lawson, Brent Meyer, Gerry Meyer, Nathan Muehlenhardt, Jeff O’Brien, Brad Schultz, Ken Tritz, & Dave Wagner. Current officers are: G. Meyer President, Schultz VP, & B. Meyer Sec/Treas.

In other business, the Board certified a 25 game schedule not counting tourney games at Freeport in early May and the hometown 15th Annual Tigertown Classic slated for June 7, 8, & 9 at Tiger Park. Of this 25 game schedule 12 contests will be home games. Promotional home games, always fan favorites, will be: Dollar Dog Night, May 3 against St. Benedict, Dollar Beer Night, May 24 against Henderson, Half Price Burger Night against Renner, SD on June 7, Little League Night on June 30 against Fairfax, Ken Tritz Recipe Pulled Pork Sandwich Night on July 7 against Jordan, Ernie Stumpf Live Music & Senior Citizens Night on July 14 against Gaylord, and the Annual Fan Appreciation Night on July 26 against Chanhassen.

Another summer of great fan events at Tiger Park in addition to the grand old game, a game that has been part of Belle Plaine history since 1885. Check the schedule for start times since some of the Sunday night games have a 6 PM first pitch vs. the usual 7:30 PM.

Shaking Hands

In other business:
*The date for the annual Tiger Open Golf Tournament at Valley View is set for Saturday, June 1 with a 1PM shot gun start. This Best Ball Event is a four person team outing and is a major fund raiser for Tiger Baseball. Get your teams together and enjoy a great day of golf and support the Tigers as well.

*Game day admissions will stay the same as 2012 with once again the best deals being a Season Ticket for $25.00 or a Dugout Club $50.00. The Dugout members not only get you into each regular season game but a hotdog and beverage as well.

*The 15th Annual Tigertown Classic is set for June 7, 8, & 9 at the one of the gold standards for amateur baseball in Minnesota, the venerable Tiger Park. This year entrants in addition to host Belle Plaine are Union Hill, Freeport, Renner SD, Upsala, St. Louis Park, Blue Earth, and the Mpls. Angels. The initial game will be Friday June 7 with Union Hill taking on Freeport with first pitch at 6:30PM. The Tigers will face a team from Renner, SD that features former Belle Plaine player Tim Huber, game time 8:30 PM. The other 4 teams will be on the docket for Saturday. Last year’s winner Blue Earth is back to defend their title. The weekend of top notch baseball will include 10 games and a nice venue of “ballpark food”.

*Preliminary work continues for the Belle Plaine/Jordan (Le Sueur 3rd site if necessary) hosting of the 2014 State Tournament . This will be the 5th tournament that Belle Plaine has hosted or Co-hosted with the last event being in 2004. Sponsoring the tournament in Belle Plaine is the BPBA with Chair people being Brent Meyer, Dennis Lawson, Shane Hofmann, & Jeff Miller.

With spring in the air the first game of the ‘13 season is a home game on May 3 against St. Benedict with a 7:30 PM start time. See you at the Ball Park!

Field Set for 15th Annual
Tigertown Classic

TigerTown Classic

Photo Click for Mpls Angels Website Click for Freeport Website Click for Blue Earth Website Click for Union Hill Website Click for Upsala Website Click for website Click For Renner Facebook Page

* All teams are guaranteed two games (although, not a true double-elimination format - the losers of games 7 & 8 will be eliminated despite a 1-1 record).  
* Games will be seven innings, with 10-run rule in effect after five (including Championship).
* Courtesy runners are allowed for pitchers and catchers at all times.

The Belle Plaine Tigers have announced the eight-team field that will participate in their 15th Annual Tigertown Classic on June 7-9. Seven leagues, two classes and two states will be represented... (Read More of MBA TTCL Preview)


Happy Birthday Kru

The year was 1973 and the Miami Dolphins had just completed a perfect season. Just two weeks later, Brett Steven Kruschke was born...And no one has been perfect since. From all of us around Team TigerTown and the World, Happy Birthday Brett!


Mike Schultz - Tiger Manager

Already a 10-year veteran of the Tiger dugout, 27-year old Mike Schultz was appointed Belle Plaine's field manager Wednesday night (Jan. 9, 2013) by the Belle Plaine Baseball Assocation. He replaces the legendary Jeff "Dog" Miller, who managed most of the previous four seasons. Mike's brothers Pat (a 15-year player) and Matt (seven years) will finally have to listen to him, as his word goes -- or I'm telling Mom! -- who's conveniently located in the concession stand. Or Dad! --same place. Mike is a deputy policeman for Scott County, and he is willing to take the necessary steps to bring law-and-order to the Tiger dugout. (Uh, not that there hasn't been.) If nothing else, people should pay more attention during kangaroo court.

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