Minnesota Baseball Association “Townball” is celebrating 100 Tournament Championships concluding with Champions crowned in 2 classes Labor Day Weekend.
For area baseball fans the tradition of town team baseball has deep roots with many recent local State Tournament host sites and high level competition of area teams faring well in Tournament play. MBA selects hosts years in advance allowing host communities the opportunity to rise to the challenge of providing the best possible tournament experience. In 2023 Delano, Dassel and Litchfield were selected with a late addition of 2021 host Waconia to accommodate the ever expanding format now including 48 Class “C” and 32 Class “B” teams in a single elimination format. Class “B” was expanded in a surprise move at the MBA 2022 Fall Annual Meeting to incorporate Class “A” teams that for the previous 30+ years included primarily teams based within the 494/694 loop.
For Prior Lake fans, the hometown PL Jays were dropped 7-6 with bases loaded at the Victoria Vics in Section 3 Class B Playoffs August 2nd. The Vics continued defeating the 2023 regular season Champion Burnsville Bobcats 5-3 who for the 2nd consecutive season was defeated as “home” team playing at Victoria due to field conflict on August 4th. The Jays advanced to MBA in 2022 hosting Burnsville. On the eve of Victorias opening round game vs Class “A” powerhouse Minnetonka Millers August 18, it was discovered that Victoria had multiple players on roster that had NOT signed contracts. The error gave Minnetonka an uncontested 9-0 forfeit win into the Final 16 as Victoria was deemed ineligible by MBA and a spot representing Section 3B vacated in the bracket. The PL Mudcats in the Class “C” DRS League had issues with MBA rules in 2023 and given the option of competing in Class “B” playoffs for 2 seasons or pare roster before 2024 to a points limit or threshold created by MBA to limit rosters to more “local” players in Class “C”. The ‘Cats had 2 players signed out of PLHS in 2022 residing in Savage that when added to their college teams also added to their point total driving the ‘Cats just past the threshold. The Mudcats use PL City limits for radius purposes and opted to complete their season and try returning to Class “C” in 2024.
MBA Week 1 Local Results:
Shakopee Indians 7-5 Plymouth Hit Dawg
St Patrick Irish 7-1 St Paul Capitals
Hopkins Berries 3-0 Chaska Cubs
Minnetonka Millers 9-0* Victoria Vics
St Louis Park Pirates 2-1 Young America Cardinals
*Forfeit, no game played
Maple Lake Lakers 12-8 Union Hill Bulldogs (11 innings)
Chisago Lakes Bulldogs 4-3 Veseli Warriors
Faribault Lakers BYE #1 Region 3C seed, advance to Final 32/Week 2
Jordan Brewers BYE #1 Region 6C seed, advance to Final 32/Week 2
Region 6C: Waterville Indians blanked by New Ulm Brewers 5-0, Blue Earth 7-2 Stark Longhorns to advance.
–Week 1 Video highlights of all State Tournament games via MBA You Tube channel.
-The Shakopee Indians opened the 2023 MBA B Tournament in Delano versus the Plymouth Hit Dawg and down 5-0 after the Plymouth 4th, posted 2, 4 and 1 runs in innings 4-6 and held on for the win to advance to final 16.
–Union Hill nearly pulled a historic comeback down 8-0 in the 6th posting 4 runs in the 6th and 4 in the 8th innings and had chances to win late before yielding 4 runs in the top of the 11th inning in their season ending loss.
-The Veseli Warriors had an entertaining battle with Chisago Lakes dropping a 4-3 game in Week 1. The Warriors have former St Patrick pitcher Bill Dunker Managing with longtime Irish standout Josh Simon and the roster as well Nick Spitt making the move from St Patrick.
–St Patrick of the DRS League was moved by MBA from Class C and, despite their protests on the move, walked through the daunting Section 1B winning their series 3-0 over Hampton to cap a season that had them finish 1st in the regular season. Their roster transformation in recent seasons has purged the New Prague component that built the team and Bonin Field leaving them with just 3 New Prague graduates on this seasons playoff roster.
-The Young America Cardinals of the CRVL and Section 3B were moved into Class B based on success with deep runs in Class C 2 seasons ago and many Waconia players with college experience bumping them despite protest to Class “B” based on player and playoff success points. They showed their metal with a close 2-1 loss to powerhouse St Louis Park Pirates who won Class “A” in 2022.
-The Elko Express and New Market Muskies of the DRS League and Section 1B BOTH led best of 5 playoff series 2-1 and lost to Miesville and Dundas respectively.
-The original Prior Lake Jays were recognized as a “Team Of The Decade” of the 1970’s by the hosts of MBA100. The Jays folded before the 1977 season after capturing consecutive title in 1975 & 1976 as well 2 3rd place finishes in the 1970-76 timeframe. MBA attempted to move them to Class “A” resulting in the demise of the original team called the Jays. The current Jays started in 1987 followed by the Mudcats in 1991.
MBA Week 2 Local Action:
Shakopee Indians VS Stockmens Irish at Delano Sunday August 27 1100AM
St Patrick Irish VS Baseball365 at Delano Saturday August 26 1100AM KCHK Radio
St Patrick 5-3
Jordan Brewers VS Green Isle Irish at Dassel Saturday August 26 700PM KCHK Radio
Jordan 10-0 (8 innings)
Faribault Lakers VS New Ulm Brewers at Delano Sunday August 27 430PM KCHK Radio
New Ulm 2-1
WEEK 2 VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS– via MBA YouTube Channel
MBA Championship Week 3 Local Action:
Class “C” enters Championship weekend in Final 16 while Class “B” has 8 teams remaining (5 “B”, 3 “A” teams).
Friday 730PM at Litchfield Jordan Brewers VS Fergus Falls Hurricane
-Winner advances to Sunday 130 at Delano VS Sartell/Maple Lake winner.
Saturday 1100AM at Litchfield St Patrick Irish VS Minnetonka Millers
-Winner advances to Sunday 1200PM VS Moorhead/AirFreight Unlimited winner.
Saturday 130PM at Delano Shakopee Indians VS Minneapolis Cobras
-Winner advances to Sunday 300PM VS Cold Spring/Miesville winner.
Sunday September 3
Class “B” Final 4 at Dassel: Noon & 300PM
730PM at Dassel MBA Class “B” Championship
Labor Day Monday September 4
100PM at Delano MBA Class “C” Championship
KCHK Radio–Scott Counties Townball Flamethrower