--by Brett Kruschke
The Miesville Mudhens have won 17 straight games and still are not the No. 1 team in Class B. How's that again?! Well, the Moorhead Brewers have but one blemish on the season -- even if it was against a Class C team, the Raymond Rockets (no disrespect to their ace pitcher, Alex Lotthammer). That said, the vote was close:
AARON OLSON – Shakopee
1. Moorhead Brewers (20-1) Would be undefeated if didn’t run into Raymond’s stud pitcher
2. Cold Spring Springers (23-6) Won Coors Light Classic and their own tourney the next weekend!
3. Miesville Mudhens (21-3) Great run lately
4. Blaine Fusion (27-7) Won 10 straight and on top of Metro Minny
5. Shakopee Indians (15-8) On top of Section 3. Four losses have come during tourneys
6. Chaska Cubs (15-9) Six wins in row including Chanhassen, St. Louis Park and Victoria twice!
7. Dundas Dukes (19-5) Couple tough losses but will rebound
8. Elko Express (25-9) Just missed the Coors Light Championship in three-way tie in pool play, which included beating Cold Spring
9. Forest Lake Brewers (17-7) 2nd in Metro Minny
10. Chanhassen Red Birds (15-8) 5-3 in Section 3, right in the thick of it
JAMIE HEIPEL – Blaine
1 - Moorhead (20-1) playing outstanding ball all season, no room to move them anyplace lower just because they suffered first loss.
2 – Miesville (21-3) 17-game win streak with big game versus Shakopee Tuesday night, a huge game in Section play.
3 – Blaine (27-7) have some big wins as of late, including 13 in a row and 16 of last 17. Beat a very good Forest Lake team on the road. 7-1 since last poll.
4 – Cold Spring (22 – 6) Some impressive wins in tournaments including the championship at the Coors Light Invitational, even though they lost a game.
5 – Dundas (19 – 7) playing good ball but have cooled down and dropped some key Section games.
6 – Elko (25 – 9) Just beat Springers in the Coors Light Invitational; very good all-around team.
7 – Shakopee (15 -8) dropping a bit with some recent losses since last poll. Looking to rebound with some tough Section games remaining.
8 – Forest Lake (17 -7) Lost a matchup at home with Blaine, but this team is really good and will be a tough out for anyone come State.
9 – Chaska (17-8) Hitting stride with a very tough game versus Shakopee; streaking towards the finish, which all good teams strive for.
10 – Rochester (11 -8) Last 11 games they have wins in eight of them, some very impressive.
Just Missed: St. Cloud Beaudreaus , Burnsville
ERIC KRAUSHAR – Chaska/Chanhassen
1. Miesville Mudhens (21-3) - reasons to move the Mudhens up to No. 1? SEVENTEEN straight wins. Who have they beat so far in July? Green Isle, Dundas, St. Paul Capitals, Cannon Falls, and Eagan – to name a few. 8-1 vs Region 1B teams.
2. Moorhead Brewers (21-1) - suffered its first loss to Raymond in the Coors Light Classic, but rebounded by beating Blue Earth and Shakopee in a 1-0 contest.
3. Blaine Fusion (26-7) - the class of the Metro Minny beat Forest Lake 7-1 on July 15 and are 10-1 in league play, having won TWELVE straight games and SIXTEEN of the last 17.
4. Chaska Cubs (17-8) - another team on an absolute roll; 6-0 in July. Victories over Region 3B opponents (Victoria 2x, Prior Lake and Chanhassen) as well as a decision over Class A No. 1 St. Louis Park.
5. Cold Spring Springers (23-6) - winners of 11 of the last 12 games, and 9-1 in July. Only loss came to Elko in Coors Light Classic, a tournament the Springers won with a 3-1 record.
6. Dundas Dukes (19-7) - suffered losses to Miesville and Hampton of late, now 9-5 in the CCVL. Big wins in May versus Elko and Blaine helps keep them in the middle of the rankings.
7. Elko Express (25-9) - have won 10 of the last 12 games, going 2-1 at Coors Light Classic. Lost to Jordan by a run before defeating Cold Spring and Hampton.
8. Shakopee Indians (15-8) - went 1-2 at Coors Light Classic, but rebounded afterward with wins over Coon Rapids and Prior Lake. Played Moorhead very tough, falling 1-0.
9. Chanhassen Red Birds (16-10) - losses to Victoria and Chaska have moved the Red Birds into the third spot in Region 3B. Four straight seeding games over next eight days; big stretch ahead.
10. Forest Lake (17-7) - losses to Coon Rapids and Blaine move them down the pecking order. Split with Duluth in a pair of one-run games on Sunday.
MATT MAREK – Champlin
1. Moorhead (21-1) – What can I say that hasn’t already been said? They have a team batting average of (about) .342, a team ERA of 1.96. You’re probably going to have to be near-perfect to beat the Brewers this year.
2. Miesville (21-3) – 17 consecutive wins. They are essentially 1B, with a case to be made for 1A, at this point.
3. Cold Spring (23-6-1) – Six wins in a row, and 12 out of their last 13 with nearly all of those wins being against quality opponents.
4. Blaine (27-7) – It’s officially turned into the ‘heat check’ poll. Blaine is also heating up, winning 13 straight, with six of those coming by one run. Finding a way to win close games should bode well for the Fusion!
5. Dundas (19-7) – A couple of minor stumbles as of late, but still business as usual. Tough to fault a team for losses to Miesville and Hampton, but with the red-hot stretches of the four aforementioned, it’s tough not to move those guys up.
6. Elko (25-9) – Had a pair of tough losses to #1 St. Louis Park, and another to Jordan at the Coors Light Classic. Two big games with Miesville and Dundas await the Express.
7. Chaska (17-8) – The top three teams in the RVL are very tightly bunched, but the Cubs come out on top in my poll this week after five straight wins following the holiday break, highlighted by an 8-4 win over St. Louis Park on Friday.
8. Forest Lake (17-7) – Had a couple of stumbles to Coon Rapids, Duluth and Blaine recently. They still hold a three-game lead on the VERY important #1 seed in Section 2, but have tough games left with Brooklyn Park (two) and Blaine.
9. Shakopee (15-8) – Shakopee holds a narrow lead in Section 3, but gets overtaken this week in my poll by Chaska’s recent stretch.
10. Chanhassen (16-10) – Not sure what their playoff roster will look like, but there is definitely a lot of young talent on this squad. 2-3 record since July 4break.
Northfield (15-8) – Reports say they can stick it pretty well. They beat Miesville early in the year, and are probably a signature win away from sneaking into the 10-spot.
Rochester (11-8) – Like Jamie mentioned, heating up with wins over the Minneapolis Angels (Park National Champs) and a 17-7 drubbing of Eagan.
KELLY McMONAGLE – Moorhead
1. Miesville - on a tear the last three weeks and leaders of Section 1B; tough stretch on the horizon with St. Louis Park, Elko, Hampton, and Lyon's Pub
2. Moorhead - shut out by Raymond in the Coors Light Classic, but came back with wins over Blue Earth and Shakopee
3. Blaine - ripped off 13 straight W's with a decisive win over Forest Lake last week; leading the Metro Minny with an 11-1 mark
4. Cold Spring - winners of the Coors Light Classic and Nic Bell Classic in back-to-back weekends, losing only to Elko
5. Dundas - wins over New Market and Rochester with losses to Hampton and Miesville; big game with Elko upcoming on Sunday
6. Elko - sitting in 2nd place in 1B standings behind Miesville; won two of three at the Coors Light Classic with a close victory over Cold Spring; dates with Miesville and Dundas this weekend
7. Forest Lake - Three losses in last five, with losses to Coon Rapids and Blaine, has them in 2nd place in the Metro Minny; split with Duluth last weekend
8. Chaska - winners of seven consecutive, including Chanhassen and St. Louis Park; tough schedule this week with Shakopee, Minnetonka, and Chanhassen
9. Shakopee - Three Section games this week will test them and should leave a more clear picture in 3B when the dust settles
10. Chanhassen - still in the mix in the 3B log jam with dates against Victoria, Shakopee, and Chaska this week
Mention: Rochester and St. Cloud
CLASS B RANKINGS (as of July 19):
1. Moorhead Brewers (48 points)
2. Miesville Mudhens (46)
3. Blaine Fusion (38)
4. Cold Spring Springers (37)
5. Dundas Dukes (27)
6. Elko Express (22)
7. Chaska Cubs (21)
8. Shakopee Indians (17)
9. Forest Lake Brewers (13)
10. Chanhassen Red Birds (5)
Other receiving vote: Rochester Royals (1)