Prep Blog: Previewing The State Baseball Tournament
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – School is out for the summer across much of Minnesota, but the high school spring sports season is still going with tournaments across the state for at least another week.
State champions were crowned last week in boys tennis, girls softball and in track and field, while more tournaments are ahead this week in lacrosse, golf and boys baseball. In girls softball, the AAA state championship game was won in one of the most thrilling ways. With Lakeville South leading Maple Grove 3-2, the Crimson had two runners on in the last inning with two out. The Cougars got a strikeout to win the state championship.
In the other softball tournaments, Kasson-Mantorville shut out LeSueur-Henderson 3-0 to win the AA state title. In Class A, New Ulm Cathedral beat New Life Academy of Woodbury for the title.
Hamline was once again the host for the State Track and Field Championships. On the boys side, Hopkins won the AA team title and Minnehaha Academy took the Class A team title. On the girls side, Minnetonka won the Class AA team title and Minneapolis Edison won the Class A title.
This week, a full week of action is highlighted by the State Boys Baseball Tournament, being held at various sites before the championship games at Target Field. Each class features a field of teams who were favored to get there all year with some teams who are surprises.
That’ s never more obvious than in the Class AAA field, where the teams include a couple favorites in Lakeville North and Mahtomedi as well as a huge underdog in Lakeville South. The Cougars won just two regular season games and at one point lost 15 straight games before winning four straight to get to their section championship game.
Lakeville North (21-4) enters the tournament with the No. 1 seed. The other seeded teams are No. 2 Mahtomedi (23-1) , No. 3 Eden Prairie (18-6), No. 4 Mounds View (18-6) and No. 5 Elk River (17-8). Some players to keep an eye on include Mahtomedi standout pitcher Michael Bauman and Mounds View star Sam Hentges, who is headed to Arkansas on scholarship. Just two of this year’s teams (Lakeville North and Mounds View) were in the state tournament last year as the Mustangs are aiming to defend it.
The Class AA field features three teams that were in last year’s tournament, including defending champion Kasson-Mantorville. The KoMets are the No. 3 seed after winning the title last year as a No. 5 seed. Perennial power St. Cloud Cathedral (24-1) is the No. 1 seed, while Fairmont (23-1) is the No. 2, Glencoe-Silver Lake (17-4) is the No. 4 and Delano (16-9) is the No. 5.
If the seedings hold, St. Cloud Cathedral would face Fairmont on Saturday for the Class AAA title.
In Class A, just two of the eight teams in the field were state tournament participants last year. BOLD, looking to defend its 2013 state title, enters this week’s tournament as the No. 1 seed at 23-1. New Yrok Mills (23-0) is the No. 2 seed, Chatfield (21-3) is the third seed, the No. 4 seed is New Life Academy of Woodbury (22-4) and the No. 5 seed is Springfield (21-2).
It should be a fun and exciting few days of baseball before the teams that survive and advance play for a championship on Saturday at Target Field. The Class AAA tournament is at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, the Class AA Tournament is at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud and the Class A bracket will be played at the Chaska Athletic Park.
State Baseball Tournament
Quarterfinal Games – Class AAA
Lakeville North (21-4) vs. Brainerd (21-3)
Mounds View (18-6) vs. Elk River (17-8)
Eden Prairie (18-6) vs. Robbinsdale Armstrong (14-9)
Lakeville South (7-18) vs. Mahtomedi (23-1)
Quarterfinal Games – Class AA
St. Cloud Cathedral (24-1) vs. Blake (19-6)
Glencoe-Silver Lake (17-4) vs. Delano (16-9)
Hawley (18-6) vs. Kasson-Mantorville (21-4)
Fairmont (23-1) vs. Aitkin (22-4)
Quarterfinal Games – Class A
BOLD (21-3) vs. Red Lake County (20-5)
Springfield (21-2) vs. New Life Academy (22-4)
Chatfield (21-3) vs. Royalton (12-10)
New York Mills (23-0) vs. Ely (21-2)