Minnesota State Baseball Top Two Seeds in All Title Games
The top two seeds in all four Minnesota High School Baseball Tournaments are playing for state titles at Target Field Saturday. In Class A top seed Heritage Christian Academy defeated defending State Champion Parkers Prairie 7-4 and number two seed Sleepy Eye got by #3 seed South Ridge 4-1 at Chaska Athletic Park.
In Class AA top seed Marshall School, Duluth beat Caledonia 6-3 and #2 seed Maple Lake edged Jordan 4-3 at Dick PUtz Field in St. Cloud. Maple Lake is trying to match the softball team which won the Class 2A State Softball Championship last weekend in North Mankato. In Class AAA #1 seed Mahtomedi won a thriller over Alexandria Area 1-0 and #2 seed Rocori blanked New Ulm 5-0 at Siebert Field on the University of Minnesota campus.
In Class AAAA top seed Minnetonka got by St. Michael-Albertville 7-6 and #2 seed Stillwater Area trotted past Blaine 4-3 at CHS Field in St. Paul.
At 10:00 a.m. Saturday the Class A title game at Target Field in Minneapolis will feature Heritage Christian Academy (22-3) and Sleepy Eye (18-5) will play and the Eagles of Heritage Christian Academy in their first state tournament have their top pitcher ready to go. Seth Halvorsen is a Minnesota Twins draftee and was chosen Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year. The Mr. Baseball finalist pitched two innings in a 4-3 win over Sacred Heart in the Tournament opener Thursday and is ready to face an Indians team with a batting average of .301.
At 1:00 p.m. the Class AA title tilt features the Marshall School, Duluth Hilltoppers (23-4) and the Maple Lake Irish (24-2). The Hilltoppers have a team batting average of .342 and a team ERA of 0.85. The Irish are hitting .374 and have a team ERA of 0.92. Maple Lake has their all-time innings logged and strikeout record holder ready to go in the championship game. Ben Mergen pitched 3 innings in the 9-0 opening game against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. The senior has pitched 182 1/3 innings and struck out 222 batters. Ben Pedersen of Marshall School is going to Missouri to play baseball and has allowed just two earned runs all season. He pitched a complete game in the opener and allowed just three hits but the high school league box scores don't include the number of pitches so we don't know if he will be able to pitch Saturday.
At 4:00 p.m. the Class AAA championship has the Mahtomedi Zephyrs (20-4) and Rocori Cold Spring Spartans (22-5) going toe to toe. The Zephyrs have a team ERA of 1.40 and batting average of .353. None of their pitchers have more strikeouts than innings pitched but the top two pitchers have ERA marks of 0.67 and 0.68. This is their 4th straight trip to state. The Spartans have been to the big dance 9 times and are seeking their third title (winning in 1992 and 2010). Their team batting average is .316 and ERA 1.73.
At 7:00 p.m. the Class AAAA title game has the Minnetonka Skippers (22-4) and Stillwater Area Ponies (23-3) battling for supremacy. The Skippers have had an incredible 2017-18 boys sports year. Baseball is their 7th team state tournament. They were runner-up in 6A football, qualified in Lacrosse and Wrestling and were State Champions in Hockey, Alpine and Swimming and Diving. Minnetonka has a team batting average of .342 and ERA of 1.94. The Ponies team ERA is 2.45 and batting average .294. They started the season 0-2 and have faltered just once since.
The Lakeville North Panthers won the Class AAAA Consolation Championship with two wins today after their tournament opening heart breaker. The Panthers were evidently locked in because they breezed by Eastview 10-0 before defeating Wayzata 8-2. The Class AAAA Third place winner was St. Michael-Albertville 9-0 over Blaine.
Class AAA Third place goes to the New Ulm Eagles 8-2 victors over Alexandria Area and the Consolation Champion is Red Wing after a 9-6 win over Willmar.
Class AA Third Place trophy and individual medals went to Caledonia following a 4-2 defeat of Jordan and defending State Champion Minnehaha Academy captured the Consolation Championship 7-3 over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.
Defending Class A Champion Parkers Prairie won the third place game 13-4 over South Ridge and Wabasso is the Consolation Champ after a 7-6 nine inning win over Hinckley-Finlayson.