MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Totino Grace was not expected to make the state baseball tournament — not with being in arguably the state’s toughest section.

But the Eagles will open against Grand Rapids on Thursday, and the route to the state tournament has been paved with fundamentals.

“We don’t try to do anything fancy,” coach Mike Smith said. “We get our pitchers to throw low strikes, let the guys hit it and then we work real hard on fielding ground balls and playing catch. We’re not smart enough to do anything else than keeping it simple.”

Topping Maple Grove and Coon Rapids en route to state means the Eagles earned their ticket.

And come game time, it’ll be all about enjoying the moment.

“It doesn’t get any better, really,” pitcher Derek Lodermeier said.

Totino Grace plays at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday against Grand Rapids at Midway Stadium in St. Paul.

If the Eagles win their first two games, they’ll play in the championship game held at Target Field.


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