The undefeated Thunder squeaked by Charleston 1-0 Friday during the second round of the Fighting Squirrels Classic at Hillhouse Park in Charleston.
The Squirrels fall into the fifth place bracket after the loss.
"I think it's a good measuring stick for both teams," Minner said. "I think both teams know that this is a battle that you could see later in the year."
Charleston starter Trevor Bennett was the hard-luck loser giving up no earned runs in seven innings of work.
The Greenville native was struck with a run against him in the fourth inning when a defensive gaffe led to the games' only run scored.
"I could not be prouder of Trevor," said Minner. "He threw his tail off. I hate to see a kid lose a game like that to not give up an earned run and go the distance."
Bennett looked almost identical to his teammate Paul Fox, who had pitched a no-hitter Thursday night to open the Classic in the first round against Calvert City.
Just as Fox did, the left-handed Bennett had the Thunder guessing with pitches disappearing to hitters around the plate with drastic movement and changing of speeds.
"There were a lot of swings and misses by him," Minner said about Bennett. "That's attributed to his pitches starting around the plate and moving. Those are good hitters (Poplar Bluff) that have put up a lot of runs in games.
"He was just dynamite tonight. That's a positive for our pitching staff. On back to back nights we give up one run in two games with two guys at the start of the tournament."
The Squirrels (8-9) had two prime opportunities to score, but the hit never came and a base running blunder squandered a chance in the sixth inning.
"We had some opportunities where the big hit just didn't come through," Minner said. "We had some base running blunders, missed a few signs and that's one thing I talk to the guys about -- we've got to quit doing that. We're 17 games in and we can't have that. We've got to do the little things and we're going to do that at the end of the year."
The Squirrels played Mayfield, Ky Saturday in the first round of the fifth place bracket. Results from the weekend action will be in the Monday edition of the Standard Democrat.