TOWNBALL PLAYOFF UPDATES: Mudcats Eliminated, Jays in “Elimination Series”

By Joseph Chapman

The PL Mudcats entered the 2018 DRS League Playoffs as a lower seed, not getting a 1st round bye reserved for top 4 regular season finishers having captured the #7 slot. The ‘Cats split the regular season with the DRS Playoff opponent #10 Shakopee Coyotes losing 4-2 at Shakopee with Mudcats starter Isaac Saad getting tagged with all 4 runs but only 1 was earned with 3 errors. At PL July 17, the Mudcats won 4-1 with pitcher Topher Rose scattering 4 hits allowing 1 run with 1 walk while striking out 4 Coyotes. Jonny Houston bagged the save facing 4 striking out 2.

In game 1 the ‘Cats and Coyotes played a classic playoff battle with Ben Morrison (7IP, SP/WP), Justin Hackett (1IP) and Houston (Save, 1IP) scattering 7 Shakopee hits while Houston also chipped in at the plate scoring twice batting 3-5 at the plate and bagging an RBI in the 3-2 Mudcats win.

In Game 2 at Shakopee the Mudcats pitching yielded 4 runs in the 1st inning on starter Alex Watterman. Waterman would be hung with the loss allowing 7 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits in 2.1 innings while Skylar Pumper was not able to slow the Coyotes in relief allowing 3 runs while issuing 4 walks. Zach Lovera had a good stint pitching 5.1 innings striking out 3, walking 1 allowing 1 run but Shakopees early lead held scoring 10 in the 1st 3 innings. The Mudcats tallied 10 hits but committed 4 errors in the 11-5 loss with Houston and BJ Benz having 2-5 batting efforts.

In decisive series game 3 at PL, the Mudcats answered Shakopees run in the 1st against starting pitcher Lucas Pumper with 2 in the bottom frame. Pumper would allow 6 runs, 5 earned, issuing 3 walks in 7.1 innings including 3 in the 8th inning with the score knotted at 3. Houston pitched 1.2 allowing 1 earned run striking out 5 while walking 1. Catcher Jake Lehrer was 2-4 for the ‘Cats at the plate with an RBI while Centerfielder Cole Bjorge scored 2 runs in a 1-5 effort batting. The Mudcats defense made 3 errors with only 6 Coyote runs earned while Shakopee Coyote pitcher Zak Hoffman got the win pitching a complete 9 innings striking out 5 with no walks issued to capture the series 2-1 with the 7-3 loss for the PL Mudcats ending their season.

Check back for potential PL Mudcats representative pitchers getting drafted to join DRS teams advancing to MBA after seeding/Region playoffs are completed.

Congratulations to teams advancing form Region 3C Playoffs: New Market Muskies, Faribault Lakers, New Prague Orioles and St Patrick Irish. Thanks to KCHK for 2018 continuing coverage of MBA townteam baseball!

The PL Jays earned the #4 Seed in the MBA Section 3B regular season and would face 1st round opponent #3 Chanhassen RedBirds who were MBA Class B Runner Up dropping 2 on Labor Day in winners bracket of the double elimination Final 8 to 2017 Champion Miesville Mudhens. The Jays yielded their 2 regular season 2018 games 6-2 in Prior Lake July 10 from a 2-2 tie in the 7th and 4-1 in the regular season finale at Chanhassen July 27.

In Game 1 of the best of 3 the Jays knotted the score at 2-2 in the 3rd inning with Joe Loftus plating Cody Kashmark with a single and after stealing 2nd Jonesy Buescher plated Loftus on a shot to centerfield which Loftus wheeling around 3rd had to go wide of catcher Smith to plate the run. The RedBirds answered for 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd on Jays starter Mike Edlefsen before the skys opened and suspended the game. At the Sunday completion, Chanhassen squeeze bunted their 5 run on Edlefsen before the Jays got out of the 3rd with a 5-2 deficit. While Chanhassen added 2 in the 4th Loftus knocked in Jeff Butler who had a 1 out single to left. The 40 hour layoff did not impact the Chanhassen offense as they plated 2 in the 4th then 4 in the 5th on 2 hit batsman, a Jays error followed by a 2 run no doubter homerun to rightcenter by Ryan Diers. With the score 11-3 after 5 complete the Jay had changed pitching to Jason Peter who allowed a single then 2 run blast by Diers, his 2nd HR in consecutive innings. After the Jays scored twice on Chanhassens Thomas Thompson on a leadoff double by Butler and RBI triple by Peter, Rob Frederick hit a deep shot to centerfield plating Peter narrowing the score to 13-5 after the top of the 7th with the rally stopped on a 1 out double play hit to 2nd by pinch hitter Brandt Broderick. In the bottom of 7, the RedBird bats had a leadoff double by Zach Hoffman followed by a 1 out, 2 run blast to left by Justin Anderson ending the day early with a 15-5 7 inning score.

In Game 2 , also Sunday August 5th,the Jays would need a win to force Game 3 Tuesday. Cameron Bunkers toed the rubber allowing 2 runs in 4 innings while Sam Schlachter pitched 4 allowing 1 run in the 5th inning. The Jays offense was unable to muster offense on former Jay and Laker Dom Reed. Cody Kashmark had collected the Jays only hit to that point on the Jays 1st at bat with a soft mis-hit ball to shallow short that he had beaten to the bag but the ball was also thrown high. When Kashmark attempted advancing, Chanhassen catcher Smith had backed up 1B and gotten a perfect bounce from the base of the fan patio fence to fire to 2nd base, recording the out and sending Kashmark back to the Jays bench. In the 9th inning on a leadoff walk to shortstop Mitchell Goodwin that was followed by a lineout to 2nd by leadoff hitter Cody Kashmark. 2nd baseman Jeff Butler brought a charge to the fan faithful with perfect execution of a base hit bunt shallow along the 3rd base line bringing the potential tie to the plate. Following an extended conference at the mound, Joe Loftus ran the count full before exploding on Reeds final pitch of the day, a 3 run line drive rope over the Veterans Field left field wall that tied the game and brought the fans to a frenzy and sending the game to extras. In the 10th, Jays releiver Brandt Broderick recorded a fly out to right field before a walk/stolenbase and wild pitch advance Shawn Riesgraf to 3rd base. following a 2-0 count and out to centerfield by Zach Hoffman of Chanhassen, Broderick ran a full count then walked Kyle Fischer before Justin Anderson hit a full count rip to centerfield plating Riesgraf. Jays Kashmark fired to 3rd to cut down Fischer advancing to 3rd from 1st and a high throw caused Rob Frederick to leap to try snaring the ball on a “baseball play” tangling up with the runner as a result. With the RedBird bench calling for obtruction and no embellishment penalty in baseball, Fischer was was awarded home after lengthy…extended discussion between the 2 umpires. With the 3rd out recorded on the next batter the extra score loomed with a 5-3 deficit on Chanhassens pitcher Mile Nablo. The Jays had a hit batsman with Jason Peter getting first then single to right by 1B Tommy Keating before a fielders choice on sac bunt attempt by catcher Ryan McDonald. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and a 5-3 10th inning deficit, the Jays had strikeouts to end the game by Mitchell Goodwin and a long at bat strikeout to Kashmark to end the game and Series.

With the 2-0 Series win, Chanhassen advances to seeding Saturday at Chaska facing Victoria at 2PM with winner to square with #1 seeded Chaska Cubs while the Jays face “Elimination Series” needing wins against Burnsville (Thursday August 8 730PM at PL) before travelling to Shakopee Indians Friday 8/9 730PM (Thursday Winner). Both the Thursday and Friday are MUST WINS for either PL or Burnsville (and Shakopee) with the loser being eliminated and the Friday game Winner earning the #4 Seed for the 2018 MBA State Class B Championship hosted by New Prague, Shakopee and 3rd site Jordan.


If you cannot attend, join the “Voiceman” Dick Carlson as the Jays will have a webcam on the action in the “Elimination Series” game Thursday in PL with the loser eliminated and winner advancing to face Shakopee Indians in another “Elimination Series” game Friday 730PM in Shakopee. The Friday winner is Section 3B #4.

Special THANKS for support from Pitch2Pitch as flagship sponsor of webcast as well Balloon Ascensions Unlimited, The Pointe Grille and Bar and Village Liquor in Prior Lake. Pitch2Pitch is the premier baseball training and support facility in the SW Metro with locations both in Burnsville and a new/moved location in Chanhassen.


HOTLINKS (Click to Link):

MBA-Minnesota Baseball Association – Townball Info Source

DRS League-Region 3C

RVL East – Section 3B Playoff Info

KCHK 1350AM 95.5FM LOCAL Radio Coverage (Subject to adds/changes)