Baseball preview: BBE has a new coach, strong core

Ben Klaphake takes over the helm for Jaguars, where Tanner Shelton and Luke Dingmann are key returnees

Baseball roundup
BBE sophomore third baseman Luke Dingmann makes a throw across the diamond for an out at first during a Central Minnesota Conference game against ACGC on Monday, May 2, 2022 at Kingery Field in Atwater.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

ELROSA — With some key pieces returning to its lineup, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa will look to improve upon its 2022 season, where it finished with a 14-12 record.

“While we only return four starters from last year’s team, we have some good young talent who are going to compete for playing time,” said BBE head coach Ben Klaphake, who enters his first season at the helm of the Jaguars after replacing long-time head coach Pat Illies. “I expect us to improve as the year goes on and compete each and every day. We are going to rely on good pitching and a solid defense.”

The biggest pieces returning, according to Klaphake, are senior Tanner Shelton and junior Luke Dingmann.

050322.S.WCT.BBE Base Tanner Shelton.JPG
BBE junior first baseman Tanner Shelton extends out to get an out during a Central Minnesota Conference game against ACGC on Monday, May 2, 2022 at Kingery Field in Atwater.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Shelton, a 6-foot-2 first baseman/pitcher/catcher, held an OPS (On-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.328 and a 1.61 earned-run average in summer ball.

“Tanner is a huge returning piece for us,” Klaphake said. “He is a middle of the lineup hitter who can use all parts of the field.”


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Dingmann, a 6-4 third baseman/pitcher, returns for a second straight season at third base when he is not pitching.

“(Luke’s) glove has improved a ton and we are looking forward to him hitting in the middle of our lineup, along with contributing on the mound,” Klaphake said. “(He) has power to all parts of the field and uses his athleticism on the base paths.

Rounding out the returning starters for BBE are senior pitcher Talen Kampsen and sophomore shortstop/pitcher Luke Illies.

“We, as a coaching staff, are excited to see the identity this team forms and to see the progress we make throughout the year,” Klaphake said.

BBE Jaguars

April 11 at KMS, 5 p.m.

April 14 vs. Parkers Prairie, 4:30 p.m.

April 17 vs. Eden Valley-Watkins, 4:30 p.m.

April 20 vs. Kimball (DH), 4 p.m.


April 25 at Paynesville, 4:30 p.m.

April 27 at Holdingford (DH), 4 p.m.

May 1 vs. ACGC, 4:30 p.m.

May 4 vs. Royalton (DH), 4:30 p.m. at St. Cloud

May 8 at Eden Valley-Watkins, 3:30 p.m.

May 12 TBA, 4:30 p.m. at Elrosa

May 13 TBA, 11 a.m. at Elrosa

May 15  vs. Paynesville, 4:30 p.m.


May 18 at ACGC, 4:30 p.m.

May 19 at Maple Lake (DH), 4 p.m.

May 25 vs. Upsala/Swanville Area, 5 p.m.

Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in May 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at, or by calling (320) 214-4345.
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