2011 North End State Run – Minnesota Class “A” Baseball

State Appearances 2006, 2010, 2011

The North End Biscuits, part of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Class “A” League, is having quite a run after half way through this season. Led by Managers Tom Paitich and Dave Zschokke, the Biscuits Started 1-4 on the season an they were able to turn that around with a record of 17-7 and a current 10 game winning streak! The first part of the season got off to a very slow start, they were rusty in every aspect. The pitching was not there, the hitting was none existent. Beating the Shamrocks to go to 2-4, began the turnaround for the team. The Shamrocks are a elite team in the St. Paul League and are known to be state contender every year and were in first place at the time they beat them. The Biscuits then went on to sweep the top 3-4 teams in the league at the time, River Pirates, Air Freight Unlimited and Sport and Spine. The only team that had the Biscuits number was the St. Paul Capitals, who went on the win the league with a 19-1 record. The Capitals were later taken out during the second round of playoffs by the Shamrocks. The Biscuits finished the regular season in 3rd place in the St. Paul division with a 13-7 record which ties a regular season high record for wins. What makes this team so strong and successful, is the eight core players that have stuck together over the past 10 years to grow as a team. Those players are Tom Paitich, Dave Zschokke, Bub Lovas, Brian Batagila, Leang Sarin, Dave Fullmer, Tijl Vanderwege and Matt Ingle. They all have came from a variety of baseball backgrounds, NAIA, Division II, and Division I programs. These players have been able to bring in young guys, teach them and get better every year. You will be seeing more of North End in State Tournaments to come.

The Biscuits have come together as a team on and off the field, with a solid outfield led by Brian Bataglia in center field, Dave Follmer (LF), CJ Hanratty (RF) and Jake Gruber (RF/3B). The infield is led by Tijl Vanderwege (SS) and Matt Ingle (2B) up the middle, Leang Sarin “Flash” (3B) and Chris Kampmeyer (1B)  handle the corners, and a rookie Chris Zeller “Zesty” who has a solid glove to bring to the team at shortstop. Catching behind the plate for North End is team coach and player Tom Paitich, who is one of the best at calling a baseball game in Class A Baseball. On the mound for the Biscuits is their ace Bub Lovas, who has been known for wrecking team lineups for the last 10 years in Class A Baseball, he currently leads the Biscuits with career and single season wins. David Geiger and Matt Ingle also secure wins and were able go deep into every game giving North End big wins. Dave Geiger has been the only Biscuit and St. Paul player to ever have thrown a perfect game to my knowledge which is an amazing achievement. When it comes to a DH in this league go no further then Dave Zschokke, he is known for his gap power and occasional bombs, just watch out if he strikes out.

The offense for the Biscuits is an overall great lineup with speed and power throughout the order. This year starting with a early slump, Tijl Vanderwege has turned the later half of this season into a BP session. Something the Biscuits have never witnessed before. He is hitting the ball to all fields and belting some moon shot homeruns. His success has also triggered the rest of the lineup to contribute at an extremely high level. Another thing that has contributed to this seasons success, is when the top of the order is having an off day, the bottom half is right there to pick the team up and score runs. And last, is their way to manufacture a run when they need it, by getting the lead off guy on base and hitting him around to score. They keep getting better and better so they may have a shot at the title game for 2011.

The North End Biscuits were able to receive the #1 seed heading in to the Minnesota Class A Baseball State Playoffs. They are currently in the Semi Finals to make it to the State Title Game. The Biscuits beat their true test the St. Paul Shamrocks, at Dunning Stadium this past Monday night at 8:30pm. The Biscuits will now play the Stockman Irish, the #1 seed out of the Skyline League. The winner advances to the State Finals, while the loser makes their way to the losers bracket to win back their way to the Title Game. The Semi Final game will be played at Haddox Field in Bloomington MN, Friday night August 19th at 7:00PM. Good Luck North End Biscuits! They are great bunch of guys with a lot of personality, and currently looking for a sponsor for next season. If you would like to support the North End Biscuits. Please Email Tom Paitich at pait0005@d.umn.edu for sponsorship details.

North End would like to dedicate this season our dear friend Christine Flaherty. She was killed by a drunk driver on June 25th, 2011. She was the Fiancée to team manager/catcher Tom Paitich. She will be forever missed by all of us! North End would also like to thank all family, friends and fans for the support they have given to this successful, yet difficult year.

– Matt Ingle

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