By Nick Gerhardt
The Minnesota Baseball Association Board announced proposed changes for the upcoming season to regions across Class C.
The affected regions include: Region 1, Region 4, Region 5, Region 6, Region 11 and Region 15. The Sauk Valley League moves from Region 1 to Region 11, Region 4 will see the Corn Belt League move in from Region 11C and the County Line League join it. The Classic Cannon Valley League Class C teams shift to Region 5 to join the Twins River League. The 13-60 League moved over to Region 6 from Region 4. Region 15 is just the Stearns County League teams.
Region 1 will see a reduction of one state slot, going from three to two. Region 11 will gain a state slot, moving up from three slots to four. Region 15 will lose one of its four state slots and will have three this season.
“This is a little premature, but we were working on several issues at the same time,” MBA Vice President Fred Roufs said. “If regions are going to change, it never hurts if they know early.”
The board hasn’t realigned the regions since 2012 and geography went into the board wanting to shift the regions around.
“These are better geographically than what we had,” Director Joe Kreger said.
The region assignments will be officially decided in April but Roufs said the board is open to suggestions if people feel it missed something.
Teams State Slots
Region 1: Eastern Minny 10 2
Region 2: Tomahawk 12 3
Region 3: DRS 12 4
Region 4: Corn Belt and County Line 12 3
Region 5: Cannon Valley and Twin Rivers 13 3
Region 6: River Valley and 13-60 16 3
Region 7: Crow River 13 4
Region 8: Victory 20 4
Region 9: Land O’ Ducks 13 2
Region 10: Red River (Formerly Norman-Polk) 7 2
Region 11: Sauk Valley and Central Valley 15 4
Region 12: North Star 12 4
Region 13: First Nite and Gopher 14 3
Region 14: HI-10 and Lake and Pine 13 2
Region 15: Stearns County 10 3
Region 16: Resorters East and West, Countryside 13 2
Other noteworthy actions at the meeting included the board moving forward with keeping the pitcher/designated hitter rule it has used in the past. The board has followed the Minnesota State High School League’s pitcher/designated hitter rule in the past but the MSHSL is moving away from its rule. But the MBA will continue to allow the pitcher to be listed as the designated hitter.
MSHSL Experimental DH Rule 3-1-4 states:
The pitcher may be listed as the starting Pitcher/Designated Hitter on the lineup card presented to the umpire-in-chief and official scorer prior to the start of the game. (This will appear as a nine player lineup for the game but the tenth player is listed due to the dual position listing of the starting pitcher.) A hitter may (not mandatory) be designated for any one starting player and all subsequent substitutes for that player in the game. A starting defensive player cannot be listed as the DH in the starting lineup except for the pitcher.
The pitcher can concurrently play pitcher and DH. A DH for a player shall be selected prior to the start of the game, and his name shall be included on the lineup cards presented to the UIC and to the official scorer. Failure to declare a DH prior to the game precludes the use of a DH in that game. If during the course of the game the player is replaced as the pitcher; he can remain in the game in the role of the DH.
If during the course of the game the player is replaced as the DH, he can remain in the game as the pitcher. The player (pitcher) shall be locked into his original slot on the lineup card as Pitcher/DH or both and may reenter the game in either position as any other starter can as long as he has not been removed from both positions.
If a pinch hitter or pinch runner for the DH is used, that player becomes the new DH. The player who was the DH may re-enter as the DH under the reentry rule. A DH and the player for who he is batting are locked into the batting order. No multiple substitutions may be made that will alter the batting rotation. The role of the DH is terminated for the remainder of the game when:
the defensive player, or any previous defensive player for whom the DH, batted, subsequently bats, pinch hits or pinch runs for the DH; or
the DH or any previous DH assumes a defensive position (except the starting pitcher); or
if the player is replaced in both roles, pitcher and DH.
The board also announced that in 2018 all bats need to be approved for use by their professional league.
For playoff baseball in the opening round the higher seeded team will be assigned the first-base line dugout. Thereafter the games will be pre-assigned for home and visitor on the state bracket. The home team will always have the first-base dugout.
Dan Swanson was named the Section 1 commissioner, Brian Swanson will be the Region 5 commissioner and Tim Thom will serve as Region 1 commissioner.
Jeff Janzen announced he will no longer maintain the MBA coaches directory. Mike Nagel, Tom Lemke and Dennis Brennan will work to update the directory moving forward.
The board additionally voted to allow the Norman Polk League to change its name to the Red River League.