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

Gerry Meyer to Step Down as President B.P. Baseball Association

- Story Courtesy of Belle Plaine Herald (12/23/14)

Gerry “Mize” Meyer is stepping down as president of the Belle Plaine Baseball Association following over two decades at the helm, effective Jan. 1. He has been a member of the association for 28 years.

Meyer, 75, has been involved in amateur baseball for over half a century as a player, manager, administrator and supporter. He played for and managed the Belle Plaine Tigers from the late-1950s until 1970. He served many years as the president of both the River Valley and Carver Central leagues. Meyer was involved in five Minnesota State Amateur Baseball tournaments hosted by Belle Plaine – serving as co-chair of the tournament in 1992 and 2004. The most current state tournament hosting took place this year.

“I told the board after we received the 2014 bid (with Jordan) that I would step down after completion of the tournament. It’s time for a younger person to take the reigns . . . We currently have a very capable board and this is a good time for a change. We have a great program in Belle Plaine and we now have one of the top amateur parks in Minnesota, thanks to the work and pride of many people,” Meyer said.

Other current Belle Plaine Baseball Association Board members are Brad Schultz (vice president), Meyer’s son Brent (treasurer), Brett Kruschke, Ken Tritz, Dennis Lawson, Nathan Muehlenhardt, Shane Hofmann, Jeff O’Brien and Dave Wagner. Meyer has presided over some 250 meetings during his reign has president.

Meyer has received numerous awards throughout his baseball-related career, most notably his induction into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. He also received the 2012 Mike Downes Award. The award is for “outstanding service to Minnesota Amateur Baseball.”
Among the Belle Plaine Baseball Association’s accomplishments Meyer is most pleased with through the years are:
– New grandstand.
– 1994 state champions, a team that was managed by son Brent.
– New scoreboards, the most recent being installed this past summer.
– Irrigation system for the field and ivy for the outfield fences, similar to Wrigley Field in Chicago.
– Many off-the-field amenities, including asphalt, concrete, tables, benches, flagpoles ticket booth and fencing.

“It’s been a great run and I tip my hat to the Belle Plaine community for all their help over the 53 years I’ve been involved with Tiger baseball,” Meyer said.

Meyer said his quote on the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame website “tells it all”
“Baseball has a lot in common with life. Both require dedication, sacrifice, teamwork, enthusiasm, trust, respect and faith to be successful. Job satisfaction is the goal, not just the score on the board.”


- by Mike Schultz

The Tigers entered 2014 with sky-high expectations after a second-place state tournament finish in 2013. Couple that with the fact that Belle Plaine and Jordan were co-hosting the state tournament (along with Le Sueur) and your Tigers were hungry to make another deep run. BP suffered another shutout loss to the Sartell Muskies, however, this time losing 4-0 at Tiger Park in the second round of the state tournament. One day we’ll figure out a way to beat those guys.

Belle Plaine finished the year with a 15-15 record, including a 9-4 showing for second place in the RVL Central’s regular-season standings. As they often do, the Tiger Train started out cold at 1-6 but picked up steam in the latter half of the season and postseason.

 The path to state was a little more difficult after El Tigre lost to the St. Peter Saints 1-0 in the second round of the Region 6C Tournament, forcing them to win two elimination games to punch their ticket to the state tournament they were hosting.

The Tigers first squared off against Gaylord and a pitcher’s duel ensued. Jake Fiedler threw the first seven innings of the game and didn't give up a run, while Dan Huber threw the last three innings – including one in extra innings – without giving up a run. Gaylord started recent high-school graduate Brody Rodning, who worked nine scoreless innings with 15 strikeouts and just one hit allowed. But Team Tigertown plated one in the 10th with a bases-loaded walk to get the “walk”-off win and a matchup against the Henderson Tigers, with a state tournament berth on the line.

In case you missed it Henderson has owned the local lads in recent history, with Belle Plaine having lost four straight and five of the last six coming in. El Tigre sent Ryan Diers to the mound and he was more than up to the task, throwing a complete-game no-hitter with 17 K’s to lead the BP to a 10-0 victory, propelling them to a tournament-opening matchup in Jordan against the Detroit Lakes Angels.

Diers started again and got the win, going five innings with five strikeouts. He contributed with the bat as well, tallying three hits and four RBI. Brad Lawson and Jake Fiedler had two hits apiece in the 10-2 triumph.

After lighting up Detroit Lakes the Tiger bats went cold and could only muster four hits and no runs against the defending state champion Sartell Muskies. Diers went the distance with 14 strikeouts, but the Tigers struggled offensively and watched the dream die on their home turf.   

Cold bats were a theme throughout the year as the Tigers team batting average fell to .247. In case you haven't memorized our team stats for the last three years, the team batting average has been on a precipitous decline, from .283 in 2012 to .265 in 2013 to this year’s .247 batting average.

The team ERA also continued its meteoric rise, going from 2.89 in 2012 to 4.05 in 2013 to 4.51 in 2014. It’s hard to say exactly what those numbers show after the Tigers made their fifth straight state tournament, but if I had to guess I would say it shows just how good the managing has been the last two years.

Diers’ no-hitter was actually the second of the season for the Tigers, with Zac Dahlke throwing one against the Randolph Railcats on June 6 at Tiger Park. Another impressive feat during the year was Travis Latzke going a perfect 19-for-19 on stolen bases. The Tigers also continued their horrid play at the Black Sox Tournament in Freeport, going 0-3 while scoring just two total runs. The Tigertown Classic saw BP lose a tight one 2-1 to Tim Huber and the Renner Monarchs before the rest of the tourney was washed out.

Offensively in 2014 El Tigre was lead by the trio of Travis Latzke, Jake Fiedler and Ryan Diers, who batted .344, .281 and .370, respectively. Diers led the team in home runs with four, while Travis Latzke topped the team in stolen bases and on-base percentage. Fiedler set the pace in hits, runs, doubles and triples.

Dan Huber paced the Tigers in ERA with an impressive 0.81 in 22 innings. The bulk of the innings were shared between Diers, Fiedler and newcomer August Farruggia, with Diers throwing the most at 51 innings. The big lefty had 71 K's in those 51 frames and finished with a 5-4 record. Fiedler posted a 2.96 ERA and a 3-2 record. Farruggia ended up at 4.60 with a 2-1 W-L record.

While the Tigers’ season ended on August 23, almost anyone involved with Belle Plaine Baseball will remember the three busy-but-fun state tournament weekends spent volunteering their time and taking in a lot of great baseball. The action climaxed on Labor Day when the Cold Spring Springers won the ‘B’ Tournament with a 3-1 win over St. Cloud’s Beadreau’s Bar. Throughout it all, Tiger Park has truly never looked better.




- by Brett Kruschke & Mike Schultz

The setting was familiar for Team Tigertown on Saturday but unfortunately so was the result, as the Sartell Muskies ended the Tigers’ season with a shutout for the second consecutive year in the Class ‘C’ state tournament. Last year the Tigers suffered a 10-0 whitewashing in the Class ‘C’ state title game in Maple Lake; this time, in second-round action in front of the home crowd in Belle Plaine, it was a 4-0 setback.

Despite the fact that Sartell ace David Deminsky missed the game due to injury, right-hander Adam Wenker very much looked the part as he tossed a complete-game four-hitter. Wenker issued a pair of walks and struck out eight in his impressive showing.

The four runs Belle Plaine gave up to Sartell was the most it had yielded in a game since July 17. What’s more, in the six games preceding Saturday’s loss to the Muskies, the Tigers had gone 5-1 and outscored their opponents, 52-4.

The Tigers finish the season with a 15-15 record, with 12 of those games coming against teams that qualified for this year’s state tournament. The Tigers went 9-4 in the Central Division of the River Valley League, finishing second to the Jordan Brewers, who went 13-0.

While the season between the lines is over, a busy weekend lies ahead with the third and final weekend of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball State Tournament. Tiger Park will host two games on Friday at 5 pm and 7:30 pm, four games on Saturday and Sunday – at 11 am, 1:30 pm, 5 pm and 7:30 pm – with one game on Monday: the Class ‘B’ championship at 2 pm Monday. Follow the action as well this weekend on these Twitter accounts: @bptigertown and @BPJordan2014.
An amazing amount of time has gone into preparations for running a first-class tournament and making our ballpark look its absolute best, so please come out and support the cause for one final weekend of top-flight baseball. You’ll be glad you did!

Sartell 4 @ BP 0 (Saturday, Aug. 23 – Class ‘C’ State Tournament, Second Round)
After the Tigers 10-2 win in the first round of the state tournament El Tigre was rewarded with a rematch against the team that beat them in the state championship the year before, the Sartell Muskies. In 2013 Sartell beat Belle Plaine 10-0 in seven innings. This year the Tigers had all their pitchers available, hadn't played 26 innings of baseball the day before and were looking to get a little revenge.

It looked like Team Tigertown would pounce on the Muskies early as they had runners on first and second with only one out in the bottom of the first. But in what has become a recurring theme this year the Chatfield Nine couldn't get a big hit when they needed them and both runners were stranded.

In the bottom of the first the Muskies did what Los Tigres could not do and got a big hit with two outs. After three walks to start the inning a wild pitch plated the first run for the Muskies. Two strikeouts by Tigers starter Ryan Diers made it runners on second and third with two outs, but Jace Otto of the Muskies clubbed a two run-double to center that Travis Latzke couldn’t corral. Sartell added an insurance run in the fourth to make it 4-0 and that's the way the game would end.

The Tigers struggled offensively, only collecting four hits on the day with singles for Travis Latzke, Brad Lawson and Pat Schultz. Dan Huber had a double, and that was all Tigertown could muster.

After the shaky first Diers settled in and threw well, giving up only one more run the rest of the way and went the distance. He ended up with 13 K's against a very solid Sartell lineup, but in the immortal words of whoever said it first, it's hard to win with zero runs.


- by Brett Kruschke & Matt Schultz

Last year Team Tigertown made a valiant run to the state tournament title game when the dream was rudely interrupted by the Sartell Muskies, who capped a 30-2 season with a 10-0 blanking of our locals. The Tigers will have a chance to bury at least part of that memory on Saturday when they face off against Sartell once again, in an 11:00 am duel at Tiger Park in Belle Plaine.

Sartell has one of the state’s elite pitchers in David Deminsky, while Belle Plaine just ensured a .500 season – by improving to 15-14 – with a 10-2 drubbing of Detroit Lakes on Friday in Jordan. But Deminsky – who over the past seven seasons is 31-3 with a 0.92 ERA and 20-0, 0.53 over the past two campaigns – was recently declared out for the season due to injury.  

Deminsky’s absence would seem to bode well for the Tigers’ chances but then again, the Muskies didn’t use him in last year’s lopsided win. That also said, the Tigers ran out of pitching last Labor Day and didn’t get to employ their ace Ryan Diers, who will be on the hill this time around.  

The entire ‘C’ bracket is single elimination but if the Tigers win, they will play at home again next Saturday at 11:00 am, against either Loretto or the New Ulm Brewers. If all goes according to plan, the Tigers will be in action three more times next weekend.

The opening weekend of the tournament at Tiger Park was a blast and if you haven’t seen the ballpark yet since the state tourney began, you absolutely owe it to yourself to do so: folks far and wide are saying it has never looked better.

Among the lead storylines taking place in Belle Plaine was Winsted pitcher Tony Kley tossing a complete-game 1-hitter with 21 strikeouts – just one short of the nine-inning record – in a 2-0 win over Pelican Rapids. And the Luxemburg Brewers made their first state tourney appearance in 117 years a memorable one, despite a 5-1 loss to powerhouse Jordan. Luxemburg’s fans arrived early and packed the park, and the love affair between them and their team was mutual among common observers.

There is a ton of state tourney coverage at MinnesotaBaseball.org and their Twitter account: @MinnBaseball. The Belle Plaine-Jordan Twitter (@BPJordan2014) and Facebook (Facebook.com/BPJordan2014) accounts were set up especially with these three weeks in mind, so do the daring thing and go have a look. You don’t need a Twitter account to read the tweets; just go to the web address Twitter.com/BPJordan2014.


Finally, long-time Tiger Jeff Miller was interviewed Saturday by Patrick Reusse, Judd Zulgad and Chris Reuvers on AM-1500 ESPN’s radio program, “Saturday Sports Talk.” Broadcasting live from the Mini Met, Miller was a guest for about 15 minutes talking about his career and the glory days of Tiger baseball in the early-to-mid 1990’s. Former Jordan Brewers great Ron Beckman was also interviewed for a few segments; both interviews were terrific and are available at www.1500espn.com’s website.  

Detroit Lakes 2 vs. BP 10, at Jordan (Friday, August 15 – Class ‘C’ State Tournament, First Round) BOXSCORE
52 NEW PICS from BP-Detroit Lakes game!
Team Tigertown headed to Jordan looking to start another run like the one that ended with a second-place finish last year. The Detroit Lakes Angels were the opponent, and El Tigre knew nothing of them as this was the first-ever match-up between the two ball clubs. 

The Tigers sent ace Ryan Diers to the mound, while Detroit Lakes countered with Bertha draftee Patrick Riewer. Things looked very similar to the St. Peter regional playoff game, as the Tigers got the leadoff man in scoring position in the first and weren't able to get him in. In the bottom half of the inning, the Angels scored a run to quickly take the lead. 

It remained that way until the third when Papa Tiger loaded the bases and got a huge two-out, two-RBI hit from Dan Huber to take a lead they would never relinquish. Diers also drove in a pair to keep the inning going while Brad Lawson’s RBI single plated another for a 5-1 lead. 
El Tigre scored three more in the fourth inning plus single tallies in the fifth and eighth to keep the manual scoreboard operators at Jordan busy. Diers threw five innings, giving up only two hits. August Farruggia came in and threw two solid innings with four strikeouts, giving up only an unearned run in the seventh. Then it was time for a few of the draftees to get a little work, as Arlington’s Matt Pichelmann threw a scoreless eighth before giving way to Gaylord’s Trevor Vaubel, who preserved the victory with a scoreless ninth.

Belle Plaine cranked out 11 hits and Diers led the way with three safeties, including a double.  He also drove in four runs in the winning cause. Lawson and Jake Fiedler had two hits apiece.


Tigers Make State Tourney While Serving as Co-Hosts

- by Brett Kruschke, Mike Schultz & Matt Schultz

In that rare season when the state tournament is held in your hometown, the Belle Plaine Tigers managed their fifth straight trip to the grand showcase – and seventh in the last eight years – but they will not open the festivities in Tigertown. Rather, thanks to grabbing the No. 3 seed from Region 6C after must-wins last week against Gaylord and Henderson, the Tigers will open up in Jordan at 7:30 pm Friday against the Detroit Lakes Angels.

At that same time on Friday, the first game of the state tournament in Belle Plaine will be taking place between the Howard Lake Orphans and Montevideo Spartans. The Tigers were nearly spectators for that game – and the entire tournament – as Gaylord took them to 10 innings last Wednesday in a 1-0 victory. Ryan Diers then pitched Belle Plaine into the tournament with a seven-inning, 17-strikeout no-hitter against Henderson.

The St. Peter Saints, who pushed the Tigers into the Region 6C loser’s bracket with a 1-0 win on Aug. 3, once again rode starting pitcher Matt Lewis to a 2-0 triumph over Jordan for the region’s top seed.

Should the Tigers win their opening-round game, a doozy looms next Saturday at the friendly confines of Tiger Park with what would be a state championship rematch from last year against Sartell. The Muskies, you may recall, took it to our beloved locals with a 10-0 paddling in seven innings.  

Eight games are scheduled at Tiger Park this weekend; please see the accompanying bracket for full details. Belle Plaine will host 10 games next weekend and 11 the following for a three-weekend total of 29.

Both ballparks have been whooped into beautiful shape and the great investments in time and treasure are now coming to fruition. Be sure to swing out to Tiger Park early and often this weekend to soak up the great atmosphere and catch some high-level ball! "28 TIGER PARK PICS!"

Whether at home or at the ballpark, keep up with all the happenings at Belle Plaine, Jordan and Le Sueur via @BPJordan2014 on Twitter and Facebook.com/BPJordan2014. And the iPhone will certainly be smoking as well at @bptigertown on Twitter and Facebook.com/BPTigertown.

Gaylord 0 @ BP 1 (Wednesday, Aug. 6 – 10 innings – Region 6C) 15 GAME PICS!
After losing to St. Peter 1-0 the Tigers headed to the loser’s bracket in their quest to make the state tournament. First up were the Gaylord Islanders and their recent high school graduate, pitcher Brody Rodning. Tigertown faced him earlier in the year and got three runs off him in seven innings, so they knew going in that runs would be at a premium. And scarce they proved to be, as Belle Plaine came away with a hard-fought, 1-0 win in 10 innings.

Rodning was very tough in this game, working nine innings while giving up no runs and just one hit with 15 K’s. Tigertown starter Jake Fiedler was also very good and worked seven innings with no runs and only four hits allowed. Dan Huber went the final three frames without giving up a run or a hit.

In the bottom of the ninth Rodning may have tired and walked the bases loaded, but he was able to get Brad Lawson to fly out to escape the jam. Reports have it that the electric lefty threw around 160 pitches in the ballgame, so he was removed in favor of Britt Vaubel to start the 10th.

Belle Plaine was the beneficiary of an error and three more walks in the 10th inning, the final one coming to Jake Fielder with the bases loaded on a full-count, two-out delivery to end the ballgame. The win wasn’t without some controversy, as on top of the borderline last pitch many think the Tigers got lucky when Travis Latzke was nearly picked off first base.

Dan Huber collected the Tigers’ lone hit of the night, a single to center field. Fiedler got the game’s only RBI with his bases-loaded walk. Matt Schultz scored the winning run to put the Tigers on the doorstep of a state tournament bid.

Henderson 0 @ BP 10 (Friday, Aug. 8 – 7 innings – Region 6C) 16 GAME PICS!
It was a battle of Tigers as the felines from Henderson came to town to take on your local nine.  The winner would go to the state tournament and the loser back home, or to the local watering hole to drown their sorrows. Henderson came in with four straight wins against El Tigre and five of the past six. And on top of that, Belle Plaine entered having only scored one run in their previous 18 innings.

Things were tied at zero after one complete and the Tigers went 1-2-3, and it looked as if the scoring drought might continue. But in the bottom of the second El Tigre plated four runs to take a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Belle Plaine also put up a six-spot in the fourth inning.

Papa Tiger sent ace Ryan Diers (right) to the mound to end the Henderson hex. The lefty was on top of his game, throwing a complete-game no-hitter (seven innings, via the ten-run rule). Diers struck out an amazing 17 batters in the contest, including 12 of the final 13 he faced. It was BP’s second no-no this year, with Zac Dahlke having done the same to Randolph on June 6.

Belle Plaine broke out with 10 hits, with Brad Lawson leading the way with three. Travis Latzke had two to go along with two stolen bases. Pat Schultz plated a pair of runs.

Tigertown celebrated after the game with a little rum, in hopes of keeping Jobu happy and keeping our bats alive during the state tournament. 


- by Brett Kruschke and Matt Schultz

After demolishing the New Ulm Kaiserhoff 17-1 on Friday the Tigers ran into a buzzsaw Sunday, losing 1-0 to Matt Lewis and the St. Peter Saints. With the win, St. Peter qualified for the state tournament. The Tigers can still make it to state but will have to win two straight to do so.

The Gaylord Islanders come to town tonight for a 7:30 pm barnburner. The loser will be done for the season but the winner plays Friday for the chance to clinch the third and final seed from Region 6C. If Belle Plaine plays Friday, they will host either Chanhassen or Henderson at 7:30 pm.

The Jordan Brewers, who went 13-0 in RVL play this season, join St. Peter as having already clinched a state tourney berth. The Brew Crew beat Arlington 15-1 and Henderson 11-1 to breeze into the dance.

Should the Tigers qualify for the state tournament, their opening game would be Friday, Aug. 15, 7:30 pm at Jordan against seed 14B.

Tiger Park is whooping into shape and looking tip-top as the state tournament quickly closes in. Come check it out and cheer on your Tigers!!.

New Ulm Kaiserhoff 1 @ BP 17 (Friday, August 1 – 7 innings) 25 NEW GAME PICS!
New Ulm came to town on a beautiful night for the opening round of Region 6C action. The Tiger bats were heard from early and often as Papa Tiger claimed the victory with few problems, winning 17-1 in seven innings.

Jake Fiedler got the start on the mound and went five strong frames, giving up one run. August Farruggia worked a scoreless sixth. Zach Horning threw a 1-2-3 seventh to end the contest with El Tigre wrapping it up via the ten-run rule.

The Tigers churned out 15 hits, with Fiedler, Ryan Diers, Brad Lawson, Shawn Larson and Travis Latzke all collecting two hits apiece, the latter of whom scored four runs. 

BP 0 @ St. Peter 1 (Sunday, August 3) 41 NEW GAME PICS!
Mama Tiger travelled down Hwy. 169 to take on St. Peter in a game where the winner moves on to the state, and the loser heads to the loser’s bracket.  It was a battle of aces, with the Saints coming out on top.

Ryan Diers started on the mound and looked good, going the distance while giving up one first inning run on two bloop hits and a ground ball out. That was all the Saints would muster, with Diers striking out eight without giving up another run over eight innings of work. 

In late June St. Peter pitcher Matt Lewis went the distance, losing a 4-3 walk-off to the Tigers in 10 innings. On this day Lewis got his revenge, throwing another complete game and keeping El Tigre from getting a big hit.

Travis Latzke recorded half of the Tigers’ six total safeties. 

Tigers Open Region
Playoffs at Home Friday

- by Brett Kruschke, Mike Schultz and Matt Schultz

A year ago, Team Tigertown finished the regular season on an upswing and took a 12-16 record into the playoffs before finishing second at state. This year the Tigers finished the regular season on an upswing and take an 11-13 record into the playoffs, with their postseason fate soon to be determined. With the state tournament being played oTigers vs Tigersn their home field next month, can the Tigers drum up another round of last year’s magic?  

Despite a subpar overall record, Belle Plaine went 9-4 in the RVL-Central to comfortably secure the division’s No. 2 seed and a home game Friday in the Region 6C playoffs. The foe will be the New Ulm Kaiserhoff, with the first pitch at 7:30 pm. There will be two umpires – it’s big time now.

See the accompanying bracket for all scenarios but should the Tigers win Friday, they’d face St. Peter (away) or Chanhassen (home) at 6 pm Sunday for the chance to clinch a state tourney berth. Of course should the Tigers suffer a setback this weekend, the road becomes longer and windier through the loser’s bracket. Check bptigertown.com or Twitter for the latest happenings.

The past week saw El Tigretown sandwich a pair of convincing victories against Le Sueur and Fairfax with a narrow loss to Henderson – BP’s fourth straight loss to Hooterville and fifth in the last six matchups. As Lou Brown said in Major League, “One of these days we’ll figure out how to beat those guys.”

BP 8 @ Le Sueur 3 (Thursday, July 24)
On Thursday your Tigers travelled to Le Sueur to take on the Braves while attempting to lock up the No. 2 playoff seed from the RVL-Central division. El Tigre sent August Farruggia to the mound and he did not disappoint, going five strong innings with two runs allowed. Dan Huber went the final four frames and gave up only one run. The Tiger bats were on fire and cranked out 14 hits in the triumph.

Jake Fiedler stayed in a groove and led the Tigers offensively with three hits. Ryan Diers continued his own hot streak and hit a home run for the second straight game, while rookie Zach Juaire also had three hits. The Tigers played pretty good defense as well, committing only one error on the night.  

Jake Fielder
Henderson 3 @ BP 2 (Friday, July 25)
The Tigers of Henderson came to town to take on your local Tigers in the last regular-season home game of the year.  It was fan appreciation night but no-one appreciated the Tigers coughing up a late lead.       

 Jake Fiedler started on the mound in his final tune-up before the playoffs and looked locked in, going six innings without giving up a run and striking out five. Brad Lawson came in with a 2-0 lead and threw a scoreless seventh before running into trouble in the eighth.

Lawson turned it over to Zac Dahlke with two runners on and one out, having given up one run. Dahlke was not able to get out of the jam and allowed both runners to score – with one coming on a throwing error and another on a wild pitch – giving Henderson a 3-2 lead.  El Tigre could not muster any runs the rest of the way against Matt Nagel, who went the distance.  

Mama Tiger only had three hits on the night, with Travis Latzke recording two of them. Diers continued his Brian Dozier-like power surge and smashed another home run, giving him three in his last three games and four on the year.  

BP 14 @ Fairfax 0 (Sunday, July 27 – 7 innings)
 El Tigre took a light crew of ten guys on the long road trip to Fairfax in the last regular season game. It was a fight at the bat rack in this one, and the Tigers look to continue the hot hitting in the playoffs.

Diers started on the mound, throwing a complete-game, seven-inning shutout as Papa Tiger took this one via the ten-run rule. Diers had 11 punchouts in the contest. The Chatfield Nine scored six runs in the fourth and eight runs in the fifth – batting around in back-to-back innings – en route to the whitewash victory.

Trevor Latzke led the way at the plate with three hits and three RBI, including a bases-loaded double.  Four other Tigers had two-hit games, with the team tallying 13 knocks total. 

Tigers Eye No. 2 Seed As Playoffs Near

-by Brett Kruschke & Matt Schultz

The town Tigers blew a 9th-inning lead to lose 7-6 in walk-off fashion at Jordan on Thursday, and a pair of follow-up wins for the Brewers this past weekend clinched them the RVL Central’s No. 1 seed for the Region 6C playoffs. Jordan improved to 11-0 in league play, while 7-3 Belle Plaine still holds a commanding edge for the division’s No. 2 seed. Chanhassen and Henderson are 5-6, while Le Sueur is 4-6.  

Last night’s home game against Waconia was cancelled by the visitors due to a scheduling snafu, not realizing their playoffs began this week. The Tigers will visit Le Sueur at 7:30 pm Thursday due to a previous rainout and end the regular-season at 4 pm Sunday in Fairfax.  

Friday will be El Tigre’s final regular-season home game and Fan Appreciation Night against the Henderson Tigers. First pitch is at 7:30 pm and a number of prizes will be given away to fans in attendance.

This is the second year of the River Valley League having its own region (6C) playoffs, and therefore the previously-held divisional playoffs are no longer needed. Elimination games will be played next Wednesday (July 30) between the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds from each division.

Barring a weekend collapse the Tigers should avoid that game and not play until Friday, Aug. 1, so look for playoff details in next week’s Belle Plaine Herald or online at bptigertown.com. (Or, duly note the panic in the streets and assume we have a game next Wednesday.)

Huber on the Mound

BP 6 @ Jordan 7 (Thursday, July 17) 17 NEW JORDAN GAME PHOTOS!
The Tiger Train traveled to Jordan in a matchup of the RVL Central’s top two teams – and also a BBQ Days kickoff – on a perfect night for baseball.

The Brewers nabbed one in the first and the score remained that way until the fourth, when Papa Tiger scored four times to take the lead. In the bottom half of the inning Jordan answered with four runs off starter August Farruggia, thanks to a few walks and some poor defense. Zac Dahlke came in and got the Tigers out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam, yielding one run. 

Belle Plaine scored two runs in the fifth to retake the lead and remained ahead by one until the bottom of the ninth. Dan Huber blanked the Brewers from the fifth through eighth innings, and ace Ryan Diers was summoned for the final three outs in the ninth.

Unfortunately, Diers didn’t have his usual good stuff. The inning began with a bases-loaded single and after an infield error, a walk loaded the bases. Jordan’s Mitch Ries then delivered a two-RBI single to right field for the walk-off winner, with nary an out recorded.

The Tigers had 11 hits total with Jake Fiedler, Brad Lawson and Diers recording two apiece. Diers also hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot.   


Tigers Keep Pedal Down in RVL

-by Brett Kruschke & Matt Schultz

Team Tigertown improved to 7-2 in River Valley League play Sunday after a 9-0 dismissal of Chanhassen, improving to 9-11 on the season. Saturday’s game at Le Sueur was rained out and has been rescheduled for Thursday, July 24 at 7:30 pm.

Jordan sits at 8-0 in RVL play this season and if the Tigers hope to lay claim to the division title, they almost certainly will have to topple the Brewers when the teams meet 7:30 pm Thursday night at the Mini-Met. The Brewers won the season’s first matchup, in Tigertown on June 29, by a 9-7 count.

The Tigers will try to lay off the milkshakes this weekend at Bar-B-Q Days before hosting Waconia on Cambria Night at 7:30 pm Tuesday. Also a note on Coborn’s Night from June 27: fans donated 91 pounds of food and $92 in cash donations – representing 224 pounds of food – to the Belle Plaine Food Shelf. Thanks fans and Coborn’s!

Speaking of Bar-B-Q Days, make sure to look for a float featuring the 1994 state champion Belle Plaine Tigers at Saturday’s parade! The Tigers will not be throwing anything out to the crowd, however, for fear of missing the cutoff man.

Dan Huber, Shawn Larson and Matt Schultz represented the Tigers in Gaylord Friday at the eighth annual RVL-DRS All-Star Game. The DRS won 7-1 for their first victory since 2007, while the RVL won the home run contest, 15-11. The Tigers went hitless on the evening and Larson also pitched a frame in the losing cause. 

2014 RVL-DRS All-Star Game

2014 BP Tiger RVL All-Stars

Chanhassen 0 @ BP 9 (Sunday, July 13)
The Redbird flew into town to take on Papa Tiger, who was well rested after a week off between games due to a rainout. The weather couldn't have been more perfect and thanks to a few homemade remedies, the gnats weren't bad, either.

 With Saturday’s rainout, Ryan Diers was on the hill for the Tigers and he didn't disappoint in his second straight start. The lefty worked out of a first-inning jam and didn't look back from there. El Tigre scored two runs in the first inning and that would prove to be all they needed, with pitching and defense doing the work. Team Tigertown scored in five of their eight at-bats. 

Diers threw seven innings while giving up four hits and striking out seven. August Farruggia threw the eighth, giving up no runs and striking out two. Dan Huber closed the game out and struck out one man in a scoreless ninth.

 Matt Schultz led the way at the plate with two doubles and three RBI. Six other Tigers had one hit apiece. Huber was happy to raise his on-base percentage by getting hit by two pitches and narrowly missing a third plunking.

Tigers Tangle With Heavyweights

-by Brett Kruschke, Matt & Mike Schultz

The nitty gritty of the regular-season schedule is here, littered largely with River Valley League games. Last weekend the Tigers faced the top teams in both the RVL West and Central divisions – both of whom carried unbeaten league records into the respective contests – coming away with a split.

On Friday the Tigers used extra innings to outlast the St. Peter Saints, who entered with a gaudy 13-2 record and winners of nine in a row. Sunday saw the Tigers mount a late comeback against the Jordan Brewers, but the locals ultimately paid the price for a sloppy defensive effort.

Sunday was advertised as the “Day of Baseball,” featuring four games at Tiger Park between Jordan and Belle Plaine teams. The 15-year olds took it to their Jordan rivals 8-3 in the first game, followed by the BP Junior Legion squad posting a commanding 10-1 win. The third game of the day saw Jordan get on board with an 8-6 win over the BP Legion team. There was a great turnout of fans, making it a fun day at the old ballyard. Thanks for your support!

The Tigers are off for the 4th of July week until hosting the New Ulm Kaiserhoff at 6 pm on Sunday. Tuesday’s game at Green Isle has been cancelled by the Irish due to too many league makeup games close to the date.

The Chatfield Nine is 4-2 in RVL play this season and 7-11 overall.

St. Peter 3 at BP 4 (Friday, June 27 – 10 innings)
After a loss against Henderson earlier in the week the Tigers looked to bounce back against the Saints from St. Peter. The Saints came in atop the West division of the River Valley League and hadn't lost a league game to that point. This game was a hard-fought battle from both teams and the Tigers came out on top in extra innings.

El Tigre sent Jake Fiedler to the mound and St. Peter countered with their ace, Matt Lewis. Fiedler was sharp, going six innings and giving up only two runs. But Lewis was also strong and ended up throwing ten frames and what had to be at least 150 pitches in one of the best complete-game losses you'll see. I think he officially earned Dave Kreft's Superman shirt.

Dan Huber threw the final four frames for the Tiger Train, giving up only one run while earning the win in relief. 

The game was a back-and-forth affair, with St. Peter leading 1-0 after three innings, Belle Plaine leading 3-2 after seven and the game tied at three in the bottom of the 10th. That's when Bradley Lawson hit a two-out double, scoring Huber all the way from first. Huber promptly got fined for almost losing his cookies after the 270-foot sprint.

If Dan had just ran one-third of a mile with Zac Dahlke more often Huber probably wouldn't even have broken a sweat. But the Tigers got the win and that's all that matters.

Jordan 9 at BP 7 (Sunday, June 29)
The Brewers came to town in what was the last game of the beautiful ‘Day of Baseball’ at Tiger Park and a battle for first place. 

Jordan got things going in their initial at-bat when the Tigers allowed the first of what would be many unearned runs.  But El Tigre would battle back in the bottom of the first and score twice to take a one-run lead.  With August Farruggia on the mound, the score remained that way until the fifth. Some more poorly-played ball helped give the Brewers four runs.

Zac Dahlke came in to finish the fifth and throw the sixth. Josh Terrio threw the next two innings before Zach Horning closed out the game by working the ninth.

El Tigre made it close by scoring four runs in the eighth to make it 9-7, but they couldn't muster anymore in the ninth and ended the game with two guys on base.

Jake Fiedler led the way at the plate with three hits, followed by Pat Schultz with two.  Matt Schultz and Shawn Larson each chipped in one, rounding out the hitting.

BP-Jordan “Day of Baseball” on Sunday

-by Brett Kruschke, Matt & Mike Schultz

The Tigers finally tasted defeat in RVL action on Sunday and it was an awful lot like sauerkraut, dropping a 2-0 decision at Henderson. Preceded by a 7-5 win over Le Sueur on Wednesday and a cancellation by Cologne on Friday, the Tigers now sit at 4-1 in RVL Central play and 6-10 overall.

The Tigers will host perhaps the RVL’s most improved team on Friday when St. Peter arrives for a 7:30 pm affair. The 11-2 Saints are fresh off winning last weekend’s Miller High Life Invite in Arlington and Gaylord. Friday will also be Coborn’s Night; they will have gift certificate drawings for folks who bring a non-perishable food item and/or a cash donation to the Belle Plaine Food Shelf. They will also give away some t-shirts and there might even be a mascot appearance.

Sunday will be a unique and busy day at Tiger Park, the duration of which there will be no admission charged. Four games are on tap and all will be against Jordan rivals: the 15-year-old team will play at noon, the Junior Legion at 2:30 pm, the Legion squad at 5:00 pm and the town team Tigers and Brewers will cap the night at 7:30 pm.

It will also be Matt Saxe Chevrolet Buick Night, so get ready for some giveaways. And finally BPBA board member Ken Tritz will be whooping up his regionally-famous pulled pork sandwiches, the obvious and eventual replacement for the beef sandwich at Bar-B-Q Days.

Le Sueur 5 @ BP 7 (Wednesday, June 18)
The Braves came to town for a rescheduled mid -week game and it was a nice night for baseball. El Tigre was a bit short on players but had some young bucks step up and play well.

The Tigers got things going first when Matt Schultz hit a one-out triple and Jake Fiedler promptly hit him in to take a 1-0 lead. Fiedler got the start on the mound and wasn't his usual sharp self, surrendering five runs over three innings and leaving with Mama Tiger down four.  August Farruggia came in and threw the rest of the game without giving up a run, pushing his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 12.

The Tigers battled back to go into the seventh tied at five when Dan Huber came up and crushed his first dinger of the year – a solo shot to give El Tigre the lead. One more run in the eighth was more than enough for Farruggia and he shut down the Braves to earn the victory.

Team Tigertown ended with eight hits on the day, with Zach Juaire and Matt Schultz each collecting two. Huber’s home run, meanwhile, matched him with Pat Schultz for the team lead this season.

BP 0 @ Henderson 2 (Sunday, June 22)
After a come from behind win on Wednesday the Tigers headed to Henderson Sunday hoping to finish the week with two league wins. El Tigre sent stout lefty Zac Dahlke to the mound to face off against Henderson starter Matt Peot, and the BP lads ended up on the wrong side of a quickly-played pitchers’ duel.

Dahlke was sharp, going five innings of work while allowing two runs (one earned). But Peot was even better, getting the complete-game win against your Tigers, giving up zero runs and only four hits. Dan Huber finished the game on the mound, throwing three scoreless innings.

The Belle Plaine Nine struggled mightily offensively, with all four hits being singles. They threatened in the second inning with runners on first and second and only one gone but couldn't get a timely hit and stranded both runners. That was as close as Tigertown would get to mounting any kind of offense as Peot kept the bats quiet the rest of the way. Huber, Matt Schultz, Brad Lawson and Shawn Larson collected the locals’ hits.

On a positive note it was a great day for a baseball game, it didn't rain, and Henderson had a really good homemade pickle relish at their concession stand. Also there was a pretty fan good turnout that benefitted two Henderson players, Cody and Cole Boelter, who lost their house in a mudslide during the heavy rains earlier last week.

Tigertown Classic Mostly Rained Out

-by Brett Kruschke & Matt Schultz

Friday was a beautiful night for baseball at Tiger Park but rain washed out both Saturday and Sunday, meaning eight of the tournament’s 10 games were lost. On Friday Marshall beat Young America 11-1 in six innings and the Tigers were nipped 2-1 by Renner, SD on a walk-off hit-by-pitch.   

The ballpark took on a lot of rain on Saturday, an estimated 2.5 inches by some counts. Sunday morning was a borderline call but the Belle Plaine Baseball Association decided that with the state tournament just two months away, it was best to err on the side of caution.

Matt Schultz and the Tigers almost shocked Chaska last Tuesday before a 10-run explosion in the ninth inning led to a deceiving margin of victory for the Cubs. Despite a 5-9 overall record, the Tigers sit atop the RVL Central division with Jordan at 3-0.

Tonight (Wednesday) the Le Sueur Braves arrive at Tiger Park for a 7:30 pm contest – a make-up game from June 1. Friday’s game under the new lights at Cologne has been cancelled by the hosts, as a number of league-game rainouts led to the call. The Borough Ballers will wrap up the weekend Sunday with a 4:00 pm duel at Henderson.

Chaska 14 at BP 2 (Tuesday, June 10)
 The Chaska Cubs came to town in what would be the Tigers last game of the year against a Class ‘B’ team. Tiger manager Mike Schultz decided to send brother Matt to the mound, hoping he would get hit around and stop asking to pitch every game like he has for the last nine years.  
In his first mound appearance since Junior High, Matt kept hitters off balance by throwing slower than anything they had seen this year. Some suggested they use a calendar instead of a radar gun to time his pitches. He surrendered four runs over six innings of work thanks to some fine defensive plays by the Tiger defense. 

El Tigre made it 4-2 in the seventh and had a chance to win the game, but couldn't get a big hit with guys in scoring position. Jordan Johnson, Trevor Latzke and Mike Schultz combined to close out the contest in which the Cubbies plated 10 runs in the ninth inning.  
The locals had seven hits in the game, and no Tiger had more than one hit. 

 Renner 2 at BP 1 (7 innings, Tigertown Classic – Friday, June 13)
In the opening round of the Tigertown Classic El Tigre faced the Renner Monarchs, the 2013 South Dakota champions. Tim Huber’s green-clad squad entered with a 23-game winning streak and in fact, hadn’t lost since St. Louis Park beat them in the championship game of last year’s Tigertown Classic. 

Papa Tiger sent August Farruggia to the mound and he was very sharp, striking out seven over six innings over of work. Renner scored their only run against Farruggia in the second on three straight singles. Belle Plaine had a few chances to score when they left the bases loaded in the fourth frame, and guys on second and third in the fifth.

In the sixth BP nabbed their only run when Jake Fiedler reached on an error, then advancing to third base on another throwing error. Matt Schultz singled to tie the game at one heading into the seventh, the last inning per tournament rules. 

The Tigers had a chance again to take the lead in the seventh, but stranded guys on first and second. Zac Dahlke came on to try and send it to extra innings, but he wasn't as sharp as his last outing, a no-hitter. Dahlke loaded the bases before hitting the next batter to end the game.
El Tigre had four hits on the day with Pat Schultz, Fiedler, Matt Schultz and Josh Terrio doing the work. 

BP Righting the Ship as
Tigertown Classic Arrives

-by Brett Kruschke, Mike Schultz & Matt Schultz

Don’t look now but Team Tigertown has won four of their last five games after taking a pair over the weekend. Zac Dahlke was all smiles after no-hitting the Randolph Railcats over seven innings Friday night and the Tigers bested Gaylord 6-4 on Sunday. Belle Plaine’s season record is 5-7 overall, including 3-0 in RVL play.

The Tiger Train hosted the Social Media Storm that is the Chaska Cubs last night (Tuesday); check bptigertown.com or the Twitter machine for the result and details. That game was also the first for the new PA system in the press box – yet another improvement as the state tournament comes into view.

This weekend is the Tim Huber Classic, er – Tigertown Classic, when Huber and the Renner Monarchs butterfly into town for one of the most anticipated games of the year: the 8:30 pm second game on Friday. Renner’s Juan “The Large Human” Thomas, who belted 291 minor league home runs and is still going strong at age 42, is currently a question mark to play. Check Twitter for the news. 

Starting the evening off, at 6:30 pm, will be Marshall and Young America. Friday is Little League Night, meaning that all Little Leaguers will receive a free hot dog and as always, are admitted free. Encourage your youngster to wear his league shirt and cap.

On Saturday there will be five games played at Tiger Park, with St. Louis Park and Union Hill starting things off at 10:30 am followed by Stewartville-Racine and Blue Earth. See the attached bracket for details and/or visit the Tiger website. Belle Plaine’s game on Saturday will be at 7:30 pm if they won on Friday night, or 5:15 pm if they lost.

Sunday will feature three contests, including the championship game at 3:30 pm. This tournament is one of the Tigers’ two annual key fundraisers, so be sure to make it out and support the 16th annual Classic!

Randolph 1 at BP 12 (7 innings, Friday, June 6)
Randolph came to town on Friday night for a rare non-league game against a Class ‘C’ team for your hometown nine. No-one was happier than Tiger starting pitcher Zac Dahlke. He was the leader in innings pitched going into the game with 15, but also the ERA leader with a rather-high 16.20 ERA due to facing the stacked lineups of Shakopee and Victoria.


In another great piece of managing, manager Mike Schultz showed faith in the stout lefty and gave him the start and a great pre-game pep talk. Dahlke did not disappoint and in fact dominated the Railcats, throwing a no-hitter and getting his first win of the season. He was sharp from the start with 10 K’s overall and at least one in every inning.

Dahlke did give up one unearned run in the second inning, but he didn’t allow a baserunner after that. The no-hitter was the first for a Tiger hurler since Brad Lawson’s no-no in 2010, also of the seven-inning variety.

Offensively the Tigers banged out 14 hits with Dan Huber and Travis Latzke both collecting three. Huber had four RBI and every Tiger starter had at least one hit. The Tigers scored five in the second, three in the fourth and four in the fifth to put the game away early.

BP 6 at Gaylord 4 (Sunday, June 8)
Your local nine headed to Gaylord looking to sweep the weekend and continue their winning ways in league action. The weather was perfect for the RVL version of Sunday Night Baseball and although it wasn't on ESPN, it was broadcast on the radio on KNUJ. 

 The Tigers got things going early as Travis Latzke reached via an error, and Pat Schultz sent the first pitch he saw over the right field fence for a two-run dinger. That would be it for scoring until the fifth when Travis Latzke walked and came around to score. In the eighth, El Tigre scored three runs, with two coming off a single from Josh Terrio.

 Jake Fiedler started on the mound for the Tigers and was very sharp. He struck out seven in 7 2/3 frames and gave up no runs. August Farruggia came on and wasn't as sharp as usual. He gave up four runs before giving way to Dan Huber, who would get out of the eighth and closed the door in the ninth for the save.   

Pat Schultz led the way at the plate with three hits, including the home run and a walk. Terrio, Latzke, Matt Schultz and Zach Juaire each had a hit for seven total on the day. 

Tigers Still Unbeaten in Division

-by Brett Kruschke and Matt Schultz

Despite getting off to a rough 3-7 start this season, Team Tigertown is still winning the most important games and is 2-0 in the RVL Central Division in the early going. The Tigers did so on the heels of an extra-innings win at Chanhassen last Tuesday before getting popped by 10 runs against Victoria on Friday.

Sunday’s home game against Le Sueur was rained out and a makeup date should be announced soon.

Head out to Tiger Park on Friday, when the Tigers will take on the Randolph Railcats. Sunday will see our striped warriors venturing to Gaylord for a 6 pm affair. Then the Chaska Cubs will bring their show to town for a 7:30 pm matchup at Tiger Park on Tuesday.

The much-publicized Tiger Open golf tournament fundraiser only got in seven holes before the rains came on Saturday, but a good time was still had by most if not all. The Tiger players and baseball board is indebted to our sponsors and please look for the thank-you ad in this week’s Herald!

Follow the Tigers on all the usual social media channels and especially check out the season statistics, now updated through May at bptigertown.com.

BP 6 at Chanhassen 5 (10 innings – Tuesday, June 27)
El Tigre travelled to Chanhassen for an important mid-week league contest. It was a nice night for a ballgame, and the Tigers would be in for a fight as always seems the case against the Redbirds. 

August Farruggia got the start on the mound and didn’t disappoint. He was given a two-run lead when Papa Tiger scored a pair in the third. It would remain 2-0 until the fifth when Chanhassen scored three runs, although only two were earned. 

The Tigers scored two more in the seventh without an RBI off former Tiger Ross VanHauen. The bases were loaded with two outs when a wild pitch scored Matt Schultz. The ensuing throw back to the pitcher was wild, and Jake Fiedler scampered home to take a one-run lead. Dan Huber came on and threw the next three innings.  El Tigre scored one more in the ninth only to see that lead erased when Chan scored two to tie things back up to send it to extras.

Tyler Hartman walked to open the 10th and came around to score on an error, giving the Tigers a one-run lead.  Shawn Larson came on for the save, retiring the Redbirds in order. Farruggia worked six innings with seven strikeouts. Huber threw three innings, giving up two unearned runs with six strikeouts.

Leading the way at the plate was Matt Schultz with two hits, two walks and an RBI. Larson and Farruggia also had two hits for the local nine. Four other Tigers had hits to give the locals an even 10 on the night.

Victoria 12 at BP 2 (Friday, May 30)
Victoria came to town and gave the local nine another Class ‘B’ beating. Although the Tigers were able to go the distance with the Vics, they still lost by 10. 

Trevor Latzke started on the mound, and was the first Tiger pitcher to realize why the Vics were currently ranked 2nd in the Class ‘B’ polls. Zac Dahlke, Josh Terrio and Jesse Oelfke also got to toe the rubber and try their best at the town ball-version of Murderers’ Row.

Papa Tiger scored two runs in the fourth inning, giving them a glimpse of hope, by pulling within five runs.  But that glimpse disappeared as fast as it started as Victoria scored in four of the next five frames.

Johnny Egan, Jake Fiedler, Dylan Nyberg and Huber all had a hit for the Tigers. 

Tigers Get A's in First RVL Matchup

-by Brett Kruschke

Team Tigertown took out some early-season frustrations on the Arlington A's Friday, trouncing them 13-0 in seven innings in the first 'C' league game for both squads. The Tigers carried their 2-6 record to Chanhassen last (Tuesday) night in another RVL matchup; check Twitter for the outcome.

The Tigers will host a pair of RVL games this weekend: Friday at 7:30 pm against the Victoria Vics, and Sunday at 6 pm against the Le Sueur Braves on "Cambria Night."

In-between will be the Tiger Open on Saturday at Valley View Golf Club, starting at 1 pm. Golfers are still welcome! Foursomes, singles or any such combo can still participate by contacting Shane Hofmann at 952-484-2319.

Arlington 0 at BP 13 (7 innings - Friday, May 23) 13 NEW GAME PICS!!
The 2014 Tigers came into the season with a goal to match last year's success and make another deep run in the state tournament. On Friday night Arlington came to town and Belle Plaine needed a win just to match last year's not-super-impressive 2-6 start. They came away with a strong 13-0 victory over a very young A's team.

El Tigre sent Jake Fiedler to the mound to start the game and he did not dissapoint. He went five strong innings, giving up only two hits and no runs with 10 whiffs. Jesse Oelfke made his mound debut for Tigertown, tossing one scoreless inning with two strikeouts and Trevor Latzke finished off the game with a scoreless inning and a pair of punchouts of his own.
Offensively the Tigers were led by Ryan Diers who went 3-for-3 with four RBI and a triple in his last game before heading down to Rochester to begin his season with the Honkers of the Northwoods League. Good luck, Ryan! Matt Schultz also had three hits on the day. Dan Huber had a hit, an RBI and a run scored

Tigers Free Fall at Freeport

-by Brett Kruschke, Matt Schultz & Mike Schultz

Nothing went right for Team Tigertown at this weekend’s Black Sox Tourney in Freeport and as a result, the Tigers find themselves staring at a 1-6 start for the second year in a row. Not that we’d ever mention it in this column but you might have heard the Tigers took second at state last year after such an ominous beginning; let’s hope history repeats itself when the state tourney is held at Jordan and Tigertown this August.

The Tigers will kick off Memorial Day Weekend with a 7:30 pm home game Friday against the RVL-West’s Arlington A’s. It will also be RTL Construction Night, which means that not only will Shawn Larson hit a home run, but every fan will receive a free hot dog, pop and chips! There will also be some mystery giveaways.

After taking the rest of the weekend off to work on their tans, the White Lilies will visit Chanhassen at 7:30 pm on Tuesday.

The Tiger Open golf tournament fundraiser is Saturday, May 31 at Valley View Golf Club and we need your support! Visit the hub of all things Tiger baseball, bptigertown.com, for more details (just click on the golf ball on the front page).

Tigers 1 vs. Beaudreau’s Bar 6 (Saturday, May 17 – Black Sox Tourney)
The Tigers travelled to Freeport for the 2014 Black Sox Tournament and drew the newly-named Beaudreau's Saints (formerly the St. Cloud Snappers). Jake Fiedler started on the mound and was greeted with an onslaught of bloops, dinks and whatever else you could think to call a soft hit. To be fair there were some walks mixed in, but the Saints scored five runs with one or maybe two hard-hit balls.

Fielder took the loss on the mound going four innings, with Trevor Latzke working the final two. The Tigers only had three hits in the (seven-inning, per tournament rules) game with Shawn Larson scoring the Tigers lone run. Dan Huber had a bloop double and Josh Terrio had the last Tiger hit.

Tigers 1 vs. North St. Paul 7 (Saturday, May 17 – Black Sox Tourney)
El Tigre got right back on the horse and played the North St. Paul Roosters immediately following their loss to the Saints. For those of you keeping track this was the Tigers sixth game of the season and the fifth against a non-Class ‘C’ team. The Tigers have played one ‘C’ team, four Class ‘B’ teams and one Class ‘A’ team. (If this sounds like the manager of the team making excuses for the team’s 1-6 record, you are exactly right.)

Ryan Diers made his first appearance of the young season and was strong on the mound through four frames. He ran into a little trouble in the fifth when a few walks, a couple hits  and a possibly missed called third strike or two led to a four-run fourth inning for the Roosters. Diers took the loss on the mound, with Shawn Larson throwing an inning and yielding three runs.

The Tigers again scored only one run and had six hits, with Diers and Huber both hitting doubles in the fourth. Dan scored the run and Diers had the RBI, and they both collected two hits on the day.

After the two tough losses the Tigers could do nothing but drown their sorrows with a beer or two and from the look of things the next day, those sorrows were completely and utterly drowned.

Tigers 0 vs. Freeport 8 (Sunday, May 18 – Black Sox Tourney)
The Tigers had a rare 11 am start time on Sunday. All players were able to wake up for the game, but the bats did not wake up. El Tigre was no-hit by Carter Sawyer, which is the second no-hitter the Tigers have been involved in at Freeport in the last five years. The last time was courtesy of Brad Lawson en route to winning the Black Sox Tourney championship in 2009. Let’s just say it’s better to be on the winning side of no-hitters.

Zac Dalhke started on the mound for the local nine and worked five innings, scattering 11 hits. Josh Terrio threw the final inning and posted a goose egg. Matt Ruehling led the way at the plate with two walks. 

Tigers Take a Pair on the Chin

-by Brett Kruschke, Matt Schultz & Mike Schultz

The Tigertown Express dropped a pair of games last weekend and is off to a 1-3 start for the second consecutive season. Last year got as ugly as 1-6 but eventually led to a second-place finish at state, so let’s hope the Tigers go 0-for-3 this weekend in Freeport! (Just kidding.)

With a 6-2 loss to Elko and an 8-4 setback against the Prior Lake Jays in the rearview mirror, the Tigers are indeed off to the Black Sox Tourney in Freeport this weekend. BP will have a doubleheader on Saturday with games at 10:30 am against Beaudreau’s Bar (formerly the St. Cloud Snappers) and 12:45 pm against the North St. Paul Roosters.

With the six-team tournament providing a three-game guarantee, the Tigers will play in one of the following games Sunday: 5th place (11 am), 3rd place (1:15 pm) or the championship (3:30 pm). Follow @bptigertown on Twitter for updates.

With the Tigers easing into the May schedule as players and bodies round into shape, that will be the team’s only action for the week. The next contest will be Friday, May 23, when Arlington visits Tiger Park.

Do you like to hit the links? Team Tigertown needs you! Join the Tiger Open golf tourney fundraiser on Saturday, May 31 at Valley View Golf Club. We are also seeking businesses to sponsor a hole for $100 each. The tournament starts at 1 pm and concludes with a dinner and reception as part of the golfer’s $75 donation. Visit bptigertown.com for more information; justclick the golf ball on the front page.

Elko 6 @ Tigers 2 (Friday, May 9) 10 NEW PICS!
The Elko Express chugged into town to take on the local nine. The Tigers were looking to avenge getting steamrolled by the Shakopee Indians last week, and this was the first chance to do so.

Things looked good early as Jake Fiedler threw a 1-2-3 first and then came up with a big two-run double in the bottom of the frame. But that would be it as Elko’s Glenn Parker threw eight innings and kind of like former Twin Brad Radke, if he could just get out of that first inning, he would settle in. And settle in he did, as Parker ended up striking out 15 men. 

The Express scored three runs in the third inning and never looked back. They nabbed one in the fourth inning and secured some breathing room with two more in the eighth. 

Fiedler worked three innings and recorded five strikeouts. August “Summertime” Farruggia worked five innings and sat down nine via strikeout. Trevor Latzke worked the ninth and K’d one.

Team Tigertown only mustered three hits, with Pat Schultz and Dan Huber joining Fiedler. Josh Terrio chipped in three walks from the leadoff spot.

Tigers 4 @ Prior Lake Jays 8 (Sunday, May 11)
The Tigers continued their tradition of playing on Mother’s Day and travelled to Prior Lake to take on the Jays in a 6:00 pm tilt. Team Tigertown ended up on the losing end of a hard-fought battle.

Zac Dahlke ran his streak of starts against Class ‘B’ teams to 34 and started on the hill for your Tigers. He gave up one run in four innings before a pulled tweener ended his night early.

Trevor Latzke pitched next and began struggling in the middle of the sixth, when Mike Schultz did his best Kirk Gibson impression and came on to pitch. Schultz retired all four batters he faced and inspired the troops so well that they loaded the bases in the top of the eighth. That brought up Schultz, who promptly grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Rookies Jesse Oelfke and Matt Ruehling made their Tigertown debuts, with Oelfke getting his first hit for El Tigre. No Tiger had more than one hit on the day.    

Tigers Split Opening Weekend

-by Brett Kruschke, Matt Schultz & Mike Schultz

The town team Tigers took the field for the first time in eight months over the weekend, hanging on for an 11-9 win against St. Benedict Friday before suffering a 20-1 pasting by the Shakopee Indians on Sunday. Both opponents made last year’s state tourney – the Saints were first-round foes in the ‘C’ tourney while the Indians lost the Class ‘B’ championship to Cold Spring. (And from BP’s vantage point: they look like a good bet to return to the big game.)

Lots of improvements are taking place at Tiger Park, the latest being new netting installed in the grandstand. Come check it out – and the new scoreboard and first-base patio deck benches – on Friday when the St. Francis Saints visit at 7:30 pm for Dollar Beer Night. When you come to the ticket gate, why not make it a season ticket?! Only $25 for a full summer slate.

New grandstand netting (15 pics)

Mother’s Day on Sunday will feature what all moms truly want: a 6 pm ballgame against the Jays at Prior Lake, and hopefully a rousing victory.

For pictures from Friday’s game and the latest happenings at Tiger Park, go to Facebook.com/BPTigertown. With seasons opening across the state the Twitter action is picking up as well, so check these channels: @bptigertown, @RVLbaseball, @MinnBaseball and @BPJordan2014. The website, as always, is bptigertown.com.

St. Benedict 9 @ Tigers 11 (Friday, May 2) 25 new pics!
Team Tigertown opened up the season against St. Benedict with a win, something that took two weeks to accomplish last year. The weather wasn't great, but it was finally time to get back on the horse after last year’s state championship loss to Sartell. It was also Dollar Dog Night, and the Tigers were in good spirits.

Jake Fiedler started on the mound and struck out five in two scoreless innings, with right fielder Shawn “Poptart” Larson throwing out Jeremy Heitkamp at home to end the first. Trevor Latzke relieved Fiedler and surrendered four runs over five innings. Jake Scherer came on to work the 8th but wasn't his usual self and had trouble locating the strike zone. He gave up five runs to make it 11-9 and only got one out before Brad Lawson came on to close the door.

Lawson was able to get the job done thanks in part to another Saint getting thrown out at home – this time when right fielder Matt Schultz threw the first strike of his career to end the inning. Lawson came back out for a 1-2-3 ninth and the game was over.

El Tigre had 13 hits in the contest, with newbie Zach Juaire getting his first two knocks. Lawson, Latzke and Josh Terrio also chipped in two. Another newcomer, Jordan Johnson, also got the first hit of his career.

Tigers 1 @ Shakopee Indians 20 (Sunday, May 4 – 7 innings)
The Tigers travelled to Shakopee on Sunday for a 2 pm tilt against the mighty Indians. The sun was out, newcomers August and Damitrus Farruggia made their Tigertown debuts, the game started on time and not much else good happened for your Tigers. The Indians scored 20 runs on 18 hits while Belle Plaine scored only one run on two hits.

Zac Dahlke started on the mound and took the loss, with August Farruggia and Terrio finishing off the game on the mound. Terrio and Johnny Egan had the hits, both singles, and manager Mike “Instant Offense” Schultz scored our only run after getting on base via pinch-running.

State Tourney Rematch for Friday's Home Opener


From Miller Park Back to Tiger Park

With a little ingenuity and some scrap, members of the Belle Plaine Public Works Department were able to temporarily transform Tiger Park into “Miller” Park in honor of Johnny Miller, who happened to be grooming the field as the new Tiger Park scoreboard was being installed Friday.

Once the top section of the scoreboard was in place, the crew removed the added material to correctly read Tiger Park, the longtime name of the complex. Miller has been active in Belle Plaine baseball for many years, from being a player to a manager to field groomer.

-by Mike Schultz & Brett Kruschke

After falling one win short of the grand prize last year, the Tiger town team begins another season of hardball Friday at 7:30 pm. The Tigers will host the St. Benedict Saints in a first-round rematch of last year’s state tournament and as an added bonus, it will be Dollar Dog Night.  Make sure to arrive early as the locals will be unveiling their new white pants, which look exactly like the old ones. 

You may notice several other changes at Tiger Park, including a new scoreboard, new benches in the patio area and a totally-redone mound and home plate. All these changes – and more on the way – have been made in preparation for the 2014 state tournament, which the Tigers will be co-hosting with Jordan (and Le Sueur, as third site) in August and on Labor Day Monday.  
On Sunday the Tigers will face a fellow runner-up from last year’s state tourney when they visit their league counterparts, the Class ‘B’ Shakopee Indians. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:00 pm.

The Tigers finished last year with a 19-17 record, winning 10 of their last 11 games.  The Chatfield Chargers will return almost everyone from that squad and are hoping to make another deep tournament run in their hometown. Returning are Travis Latzke, Johnny Egan, Derek Dahlke, Dylan Nyberg, Trevor Latzke, Brad Lawson, Josh Terrio,  Tyler Hartman, Ryan Diers, Zach Horning, Matt Schultz, Nate Hartmann, Shawn Larson, Dan Huber, Jake Fiedler, Zac Dahlke, Pat Schultz, Ross VanHauen and manager Mike Schultz. Newcomers include Jordan Johnson, Jacob Meger, Zach Juaire, Jesse Oelfke and brothers August and Damitrus Farrruggia. There could also be a few others that answer Momma Tiger’s winsome call before all is said and done.   

The Tigers are in the Central Division of the River Valley League, which will again send three teams to the Class ‘C’ state tournament.  The RVL is made up of the same 10 Class ‘C’ teams and five Class ‘B’ teams from last year. 

For the first time in a smattering of blood moons, the single-game price for an adult ticket will increase from $3 to $4, with students and seniors remaining at $2. This, however, means that the $25 season ticket – for 15 home games – is an even better deal than it was before! And for those who would also like a hot dog and beverage at each game with their season ticket, the $50 Dugout Club pass awaits. 

Finally, remember to follow amateur baseball via Twitter: the Minnesota Baseball Association (@MinnBaseball), the River Valley League (@RVLbaseball), the Belle Plaine Tigers (@bptigertown) and new over the offseason, this summer’s state tournament hosts (@BPJordan2014). The online mothership for Tiger baseball remains www.bptigertown.com, and search for BP Tigertown on Facebook as well.

To quote MBA Hall of Famer Gerry “Mize” Meyer, “See you at the ballpark!”

New Benches Are Here

New Scoreboard Coming Soon

BP Mayor Mike Pingalore presents a certificate of appreciation to board president Gerry Meyer for the BPBA's monetary donation to the new scoreboard.

Season Tickets Now Available


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