REGAL — The Regal Eagles concluded the regular season as County Line League champions.
With a No. 1 seed, they’d like to conclude the league playoffs the same way heading into Region 9C.
Regal is 8-2 and facing second-seeded New London-Spicer at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Beier Field. A win there assures being host to Sunday’s final day of the league playoffs.
At stake are two of the County Line’s fourth berths into the Region 4C tournament, which is Aug. 7-9 and Aug. 14-16 in Starbuck.
Player/manager Nathan Beier didn’t take long to explain why the Eagles have had a good season.
“It’s the same old stuff,” Beier said. “We’ve got some pitching depth.
“We get by with some veteran pitchers who know how to win and get ahead in the count.
“We’ve got a couple young guns who’ve sparked our offense. When things click, we don’t blow people out most of the time. We just get timely hits.”
The veteran pitchers the manager was talking about are Nathan Meyer, Chris Beier and Shane Radermacher.
One of the young guys is Sam Oehrlein, a left-hander from Paynesville who also plays in the outfield. He’s headed to Concordia College.
The other young guns are center fielder Nick Perkins and Will Roguske. Both are from New London-Spicer. Roguske plays for Illinois State, though injuries have hampered his career. He’s had Tommy John surgery and won’t be available for the regional because he is headed to school for the start of classes and fall ball.
Nathan Beier is in his second season of managing. He’s an Albany High School graduate on a team mostly made up of Paynesville and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa graduates.
Regal has a population of about 40. A lot of them are named Beier. Buddy Beier has been a member of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame since 1992 and is who the field is named after.
“He’s at every game,” Nathan Beier said.
Tim Beier, Nathan’s uncle, told Nathan three years ago that he would be taking over from him as manager.
“He said: ‘You’re nominated,’” Nathan said. ‘He kind of stepped down and nominated me.”
Tim Beier is head groundskeeper of Beier Field and is president of the County Line League. It’s a pretty little park in the northeast corner of Kandiyohi County, about 200 yards from the Stearns County line.
When they named the County Line League, they had Regal in mind.
Also on the roster are Jordan Beier and Josh Beier.
The Eagles have been a traditional state contender, winning a state title in 1991. Like New London-Spicer, the Eagles already have qualified for Region 9C.
The County Line’s other teams play for the other two regional berths. They are third-seeded Atwater, No. 4 Paynesville, No. 5 Starbuck and No. 6 Norway Lake-Sunburg.
Norway Lake and Atwater and Starbuck and Paynesville play Friday night. All four advance to Sunday’s final day of the double-elimination tournament.
Where that will be depends on Saturday’s Regal/NLS game. The winner gets to host Sunday.
Regal beat New London-Spicer 5-4 July 2. Radermacher and Meyer combined to scatter eight hits and two earned runs in Spicer.
Meyer also had two hits and two RBI, including a double.
While the immediate goal is for Regal to get back to state through Region 4C, which also includes teams from the Corn Belt League, Nathan Beier made clear he’d prefer Regal to be in Region 15C.
That’s the one that includes the Stearns County League. It draws the most fans of any regional each year. Beier also said it’s an easier drive than the County Line for his club.
“We’ve been asking the state board to move us for a while,” he said.
He noted that Albany, Melrose and Paynesville make up most of the Stearns County League (with Rocori and BBE the others). Most of Regal’s players are from Paynesville and BBE.
None of the Stearns County League’s teams is more than a 30-minute drive. For Regal, most County Line road games are longer than that. He thinks it would boost attendance even more.
But that’s for another day.
“It should be some good ball,” he said of the weekend ahead.