Jack Kruger set down Minnehaha Academy in the top of the first inning of the Tigers’ season baseball opener on Saturday, April 10, in Belle Plaine, then Derek Hoffman led off the bottom of the first by hitting the first pitch he saw into the right field corner for a double, and the 2021 version of the Tigers’ baseball team was off and running.

By the time the puddles dried on Monday afternoon, April 12, the locals had set down three foes in convincing fashion, including Monday’s 15-1 victory over Mayer Lutheran and Saturday’s 15-0 and 7-0 wins over Minnehaha Academy and Hinkley, respectively.

BP 15 - Mayer Lutheran 1

Derek Hoffman, who collected three victories in the Section 2AA tournament in 2019, took the bump in the MRC lid lifter on Monday, fanning eight through four innings of work. Hoffman allowed just one hit.

He gave way to the younger Hoffman, Ethan, who fanned three while allowing one hit and Mayer’s lone run in the fifth.

Jake Brandenburg had a 2-of-3 with a pair of stolen bases and an RBI. The Tigers had just seven hits but five for extra bases, including doubles for Joey Burgemeister, Jack Kruger, Ted Hohn, and a three-run double for Joey Storch. Luke Luskey added a triple.

BP 15 - Minnehaha Acad. 0

The Tigers mustered two runs in the opening inning against Minnehaha Academy. Kruger and Brandenburg delivered RBI singles in the first inning.

Brandenburg, Cade Morrison, Tucker Schultz, Trevor Grengs, and Burgemeister drove in runs in a nine-run third inning. Belle Plaine added four more in the fourth, highlighted by Luskey’s two run double.

Kruger was in control throughout, fanning nine and completing a five-inning no hitter.

Luskey, Brandenburg, and Morrison each had two hits.

“This was a great way to start the year against a high-ranked team,” said Coach Pat Schultz. “All three phases of the game looked good today.”

The Tigers turned a nifty 6-4-3 double-play to preserve Kruger’s no-hitter.

BP 7 - Hinckley 0

The Tigers started quickly again against Hinkley. Luskey set down Hinkley in order in the first, then Burgemeister collected the first of his three hits to start a three-run Tiger outburst.

Kruger singled in front of Brandenburg’s two-run double then Morrison delivered a run scoring double.

Brandenburg had his second two-run double of the game in the Tigers’ three-run second.

Kruger, Gavin Peterson, and Hunter Hoen also hit safely for Belle Plaine.

Lucas O’Brien was the winning pitcher, allowing two hits and a walk with two strikeouts in four innings of work. Keaton Nordby and Ethan Hoffman each pitched scoreless innings. Nordby fanned three and Hoffman two.

“It was fun seeing the entire team contribute, as every player got into the game and contributed in some way. Overall, it was a great way to start the season with a couple good games.”

Looking Ahead

The Tigers continue MRC action on Thursday, April 15, in Belle Plaine when Tr-City United (0-1) visits for a 5 p.m. affair. Sibley East (2-0) visits Tiger Park on Monday, April 19, also at 5 p.m.

BPHS Boys Baseball Team

Schedule and Results

W,W - April 10: BP 15, Minnehaha Academy 0 / BP 7, Hinckley 0

W - April 12: BP 15, Mayer Lutheran 1

April 15: 5 p.m. vs. TCU

April 19: 5 p.m. vs. SE

April 22: 4 p.m. vs. SWC

April 29: 5 p.m. vs. Cannon Falls

May 3: 5 p.m. vs. ML

May 4: 5 p.m. vs. Maple River

May 6: 5 p.m. vs. TCU @ Montgomery Memorial Park Baseball Field

May 8: 4:30 p.m. vs. Prior Lake @ Memorial Park - Prior Lake

May 10 : 5 p.m. vs. SE @ Walsh Field/Jaycee Park in Gaylord

May 13: 4 p.m. vs. LS-H

May 17: 4:30 p.m. @ St. Peter

May 18: 5 p.m. vs. Fairmont

May 21: 4 p.m. @ NYA

Boys Baseball 2021

Conference Standings as of April 12

Belle Plaine.........................1, 0

Sibley East...........................1, 0

LeSueur-Henderson............0, 0

NYA Central........................0, 0

Southwest Christian............0, 0

Mayer Lutheran...................0, 1

Tri-City United....................0, 1

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