MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – From a weather standpoint, the high school baseball season in Minnesota doesn’t feel like it’s underway until probably the end of May.
From a calendar standpoint, the regular season is over by the end of May and teams are battling through section brackets to determine the state tournament teams. This spring has been similar to most others in Minnesota history, and quite frankly miserable for outdoor athletes.
The weather isn’t ideal for prep baseball or any other outdoor spring sport, but the athletes are usually the last ones to complain about it. They just want to get out and play. With it finally starting to warm up outside, there will be a lot of games played over the next few weeks as we get ready for the state tournament.
Here are some of Friday’s top match-ups around the Twin Cities, and they all feature a team ranked in the top-10.
Friday’s Top Baseball Match-Ups:
Cretin-Derham (12-4) Hall at Forest Lake (9-9)
Cretin-Derham Hall and Forest Lake are traditionally two teams that are among the strongest in the metro each spring. They manage to put together the essentials to make a long playoff run: Pitching, defense and timely hitting. They meet Friday afternoon in a Suburban East Conference clash.
The Raiders are ranked No. 2 in Class AAA and bounced back from two recent losses with a win over Roseville on Wednesday. They also won eight of their first nine to start the season. It’s been a bit more of a struggle for the Rangers this spring, who have rebounded from 1-5 start and have now won four of their last five. It should be a good test for both teams to see what’s ahead in the playoffs.
Wayzata (9-7) at Hopkins (6-9)
Hopkins is looking to turn this around before it’s too late this season after having lost six of seven games. It started with a big 4-3 win over Minnetonka, one of the top teams in the state, on Wednesday. The Royals can gain even more momentum with a home win over Lake Conference rival Wayzata on Friday. Hopkins has five players in a loaded lineup who are batting at least .280 on the season or better. The Trojans also have a balanced offense with at least seven batters hitting over .300 on the season. Wayzata beat Champlin Park on Wednesday to stop a four-game losing streak.
Robbinsdale Cooper (6-9) at Benilde-St. Margaret’s (13-3)
Benilde-St. Margaret’s appears poised to contend for a state championship this year, and it’ll need things clicking on all cylinders to get to Target Field in June. The Red Knights got off to a hot start with 12 straight wins, the lost three in a row. That skid ended with a 4-2 win over St. Louis Park on Wednesday. Benilde hosts a Cooper squad that has been streaky this spring. The Hawks opened with losses in five of their first six, but swept Irondale in a doubleheader leading up to Friday’s game.
St. Thomas Academy (9-7) at Mahtomedi (12-2)
It doesn’t matter what the sport is, it’s always a rivalry match-up when St. Thomas Academy and Mahtomedi square off. The two squads meet Friday in the Classic Suburban Conference, and they’re both winning. The Zephyrs won the first meeting between the two schools back in late April in a 6-0 shutout. The Cadets have won five straight since an early-season slide that featured three losses by a combined seven runs. Mahtomedi has won 10 of its last 11 and is looking for the sweep. They Zephyrs can close in on a league title with a victory.
Tune into WCCO-TV’s High School Sports Rally as Mike Max and David McCoy will have all the action covered.