Five teams making debut appearances at State Baseball Tournament
In the 14th year of a three-class format, St. Agnes of St. Paul in Class A is the only returning champion. A new champion will emerge in Class AA because Holy Family Catholic of Victoria failed to qualify this year. A new champion will also emerge in Class AAA because Eastview of Apple Valley failed to qualify this year.
Five teams qualified for the first time this year: Osakis and Floodwood in Class A; Watertown-Mayer and Minnehaha Academy of Minneapolis in Class AA; and Lakeville North in Class AAA.
This is the first year that the tournament has been seeded. The eight coaches of the section champions logged onto a special page of the League Web site and each coach ranked the other teams one through seven. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the teams were seeded one through five. In conference calls with all eight head coaches, League Associate Director Kevin Merkle announced the top five seeds. From there, a blind draw was conducted to determine the opponents for the top three seeds. Seeds four and five were paired without a draw.
The six teams that advance to title games will compete at Target Field in Minneapolis on Monday, June 17. All three games will be webcast live by GrandStadium on Prep45.com. The Class A title game will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the Class AA championship game at 1 p.m. The Class AAA title game is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The initial rounds of the tournament will be played Thursday and Friday, June 13 and 14, at locations across the state. Class A quarterfinals, championship semifinals and the third-place game will be played at the Mini Met in Jordan, and consolation semifinals and consolation championship will be played at Chaska Athletic Park. The Class AA quarterfinals, championship semifinals and the third-place game will be played at Dick Putz Field, and consolation semifinals and consolation championship will be played at the adjacent Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud. The Class AAA quarterfinals, championship semifinals and the third-place game will be played at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, and consolation semifinals and consolation championship will be played at Dick Siebert Field on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.
Class A Highlights
(None of the Class A qualifiers played each other during the regular season.)
(Section 2) BOLD, Olivia (15-6) vs. (No. 1 Seed - Section 1) Wabasha-Kellogg (17-1) — 10:00 a.m. June 13 at Mini Met, Jordan. The Warriors of BOLD return for their second consecutive and overall appearance. They lost in the consolation semifinals in 2012. BOLD has outscored opponents 180-71 and has a team batting average of .324. They have also stolen 70 bases. BOLD has two impressive junior pitchers. Logan Sandgren went 4-0 this year with 38 strikeouts over 26 innings and an ERA of 1.52. Riley Kramer compiled a season record of 5-1 with 28 strikeouts in 37 innings and an ERA of 2.01. Senior Tyler Rock wields the heaviest bat for the Warriors. He has a .435 batting average and drove in 18 RBI on 20 hits. The Falcons of Wabasha-Kellogg return after a one-year absence to make their fifth appearance. The Falcons scored 158 runs on 163 hits and the team bats .329 while holding opponents to .217. Junior Austin Baab leads Wabasha-Kellogg with a .545 average and he has 28 RBI on 30 hits. The Falcons also have two strong pitchers. Senior Will Greenheck went 6-0 this season and has a 0.83 ERA. He also tossed 43 strikeouts in 42 innings. Senior Cory Loechler also went 6-0 on the mound with 37 strikeouts in 29 innings. His ERA is 0.95.
(No. 5 Seed – Section 3) Windom Area (13-8) vs. (No. 4 Seed – Section 4) St. Agnes, St. Paul (13-6) — 12:30 p.m. June 13 at Mini Met, Jordan. The Eagles of Windom Area are making their eighth appearance but first since 1987. If the Eagles win it will be their third title; they won previously in 1984 and 1985. Windom Area hits .250 as a team and scored 111 runs and held opponents to just 77. Senior Brandon Thongvivong has a team-high 28 hits and is batting .405. Senior pitcher Collin Lovell went 9-2 during the regular season and has an ERA of 1.93. He tossed 116 strikeouts in 76 innings and also contributed 16 RBI on 16 hits. Thongvivong will play baseball at Morningside College in Sioux City next year and Lovell will play for Augustana College in Sioux Falls. The defending champions from St. Agnes are making their second consecutive and sixth overall appearance. In addition to last year, the Aggies also won a title in 2001. St. Agnes scored 124 runs and is hitting .339 as a team while holding opponents to 63 runs and a .245 batting average. Junior Nick Turch boasts the team’s highest batting average of .403 on 25 hits. Turch is also 3-3 on the mound with 2.13 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched. Junior Jack Fossand has the most innings pitched, 55, a 6-2 record, 0.64 ERA and 54 strikeouts.
(Section 8) Blackduck (18-3) vs. (No. 3 Seed – Section 5) Osakis (18-2) — 3:00 p.m. June 13 at Mini Met, Jordan. The Drakes of Blackduck return for their second consecutive and overall appearance; they placed fourth in 2012. Blackduck hit .341 as a team and outscored its opponents 234-59 this year. The Drakes have four strong pitchers, but senior Dylan Weisert (6-1) and sophomore Jacob Peterson (4-0) pitched the most innings. Weisert has a 2.79 ERA and threw 36 strikeouts in 32 innings. Peterson tossed 31 strikeouts over 25 innings and has an ERA of 2.73. Weisert will play baseball at Bemidji State University next year. Andrew Nissen, a sophomore, bats .458 for the Drakes and tallied 16 RBI on 22 hits this year. The Silverstreaks of Osakis are making their debut tournament appearance. This year’s squad hits .361 and tallied 155 RBI on 190 hits. Senior Douglas Zimmel bats .642 for Osakis and had 36 RBI on 34 hits. Zimmel has also not struck out in the past two seasons. Junior pitcher Jordan Frederick went 8-0 this year and has a 0.89 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 47 innings.
(Section 7) Floodwood (17-2) vs. (No. 2 Seed – Section 6) New York Mills (19-2) — 5:30 p.m. June 13 at Mini Met, Jordan. The Polar Bears of Floodwood are making the school’s first tournament appearance in any athletic activity. They hit .379 as a team and scored 178 runs while holding opponents to 47. The Polar Bears’ top two pitchers, senior Trevor Bernsdorf and sophomore Riley Bernsdorf, also lead the team in batting averages. Trevor hits .586 with 24 RBI on 34 hits and Riley bats .525 with 26 RBI on 31 hits. Trevor compiled a season record of 5-0 on the mound with 47 strikeouts in 38 innings and an ERA of 1.84. Riley went 6-1, threw 44 strikeouts in 42 innings, and has an ERA of 1.39. New York Mills, which claimed consolation honors in 2012, is making its third consecutive and fifth overall appearance. Juniors Brandon Kupfer and Tyler Patron both had stellar seasons on the mound for the Eagles. Kupfer went 6-0 with 55 strikeouts in 40 innings and Patron also went 6-0 with 41 strikeouts in 42 innings. Their respective ERA’s are 0.90 and 0.64. Kupfer notched 26 RBI on 31 hits and also has a team-high batting average of .470. New York Mills did not provide team statistics.
Class AA Highlights
(Note: St. Cloud Cathedral and Minnehaha Academy were the only Class AA teams to meet this season; Minnehaha Academy won that game 4-1.)
(Section 3) Luverne (20-4) vs. (No. 1 Seed - Section 6) St. Cloud Cathedral (23-2) — 10:00 a.m. June 13 at Dick Putz Field, St. Cloud. The Cardinals of Luverne are making their ninth tournament appearance but first since 2009. Luverne has scored 184 runs with a team batting average of .316 while holding opponents to 63 runs and a .180 average. Senior Matt Overgaard has two home runs and bats .400 with 26 RBI on 26 hits. Senior Reed Skattum went 7-1 on the mound and threw 43 strikeouts in 43 innings with an ERA of 1.45. The Crusaders of St. Cloud Cathedral are hoping to improve on last year’s runner-up showing. They are making their third consecutive and 17th overall appearance. If they win it would be their eighth title; they won previously in 1977, 1980, 1988, 2001, 2003, 2007, and 2011. Junior pitcher Jeff Fasching went 8-0 on the mound this year and threw 62 strikeouts in 53 innings. His ERA is 0.66. Fasching also bats a team-high .412 and compiled 18 RBI and one home run on 28 hits. Junior Thomas Imholte bats .370 for St. Cloud Cathedral and added 14 RBI on 20 hits.
(No. 5 Seed – Section 1) Kasson-Mantorville (22-6) vs. (No. 4 Seed - Section 7) Hermantown (20-3) — 12:30 p.m. June 13 at Dick Putz Field, St. Cloud. The KoMets of Kasson-Mantorville return to tournament action after a one-year hiatus to make their third appearance. The KoMets have scored 195 runs and their opponents have been limited to 119. They also hit .315 to their opponents’ .253. Junior Jayden Prigge has a team-high .476 batting average and 24 RBI on 40 hits, including four home runs. Kasson-Mantorville also has two outstanding senior pitchers. Riley Donovan went 7-1with 42 strikeouts in 47 innings and has a 3.15 ERA. Donovan, who also bats .441, will play football at South Dakota State University next year. Joey Hyde went 7-2 on the mound for the KoMets with 42 strikeouts in 48 innings. His ERA is 4.20. The Hawks of Hermantown made their last tournament appearance in 2005 and this is their 10th overall. They scored 147 runs this season while allowing opponents only 61 and bat .283 as a team. Senior Kevin Folman is the offensive leader with his .429 batting average on his team-leading 30 hits and 20 RBI. He has also pitched 47 innings, is 8-0, and has 58 strikeouts with a 1.03 ERA. Sophomore Kole Zuidmulder is 6-0 in 31 innings with a 2.01 ERA and 31 strikeouts and is also hitting .341.
(Section 2) Watertown-Mayer (16-8) vs. (No. 3 Seed - Section 4) Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis (17-5) — 3:00 p.m. June 13 at Dick Putz Field, St. Cloud. Both the Watertown-Mayer Royals and Minnehaha Academy Redhawks are making their debut tournament appearances. The Royals hit .301 as a team this season and they had 110 RBI on 188 hits. They also scored 132 runs to their opponents’ 75. Senior Matt Elsenpeter leads the team with his .443 batting average, 35 hits and 14 RBI. Elsenpeter, who set a school record with 35 hits this season, will play baseball at North Dakota State University next year. Junior Michael Herd has seen the most action on the mound (43 innings), earning a 7-1 record, 0.47 ERA and struck out 23. Junior Andrew Nichols has pitched 38 innings, is 57-1 with a 1.45 ERA and has 31 strikeouts. Minnehaha Academy hit .280 as a team this season and outscored opponents 124-45. Senior pitcher John Pryor compiled a season record of 7-0 with 94 strikeouts in 53 innings and has an ERA of 0.26. Senior Eamonn Manion and sophomore Ford Schroeder bat .364 and .359, respectively. Eamonn had 12 RBI on 20 hits and Schroeder added 14 RBI on a team-high 23 hits.
(Section 8) Perham (16-5) vs. (No. 2 Seed - Section 5) Delano (17-2) — 5:30 p.m. June 13 at Dick Putz Field, St. Cloud. The Yellowjackets of Perham return for their eighth appearance and first since 2004. They outscored their opponents 141-66 this year and have a team batting average of .320. Junior Cameron Mulcahy has the team’s best batting average of .431 and also went 4-0 on the mound with a 2.21 ERA in 19 innings with 18 strikeouts. Senior Eric Brauch pitched the most innings (37) and went 4-1. He threw 51 strikeouts and has an ERA of 1.51. Brauch also bats .397 and added 19 RBI on 23 hits. The Tigers of Delano are making their fourth consecutive and ninth overall appearance. They placed fifth last year. They have scored 153 runs while limiting opponents to 53 and have stolen 32 bases. Junior Toby Hanson has a team-high batting average of .571. and also hit seven home runs with 32 RBI on 32 hits. Senior Zach Muckenhirn has the most innings on the mound, 37, is 5-0 with a 1.12 ERA and 45 strikeouts.
Class AAA Highlights
(Section 6) Wayzata (15-6) vs. (No. 1 Seed - Section 5) Coon Rapids (17-3) — 10:00 a.m. June 13 at Midway Stadium, St. Paul. The Trojans of Wayzata are making their second appearance, but first since 1989. During the regular season they split a series with tournament qualifier Minnetonka, winning 6-0 and losing 4-2. The Trojans are hitting .296 as a team and they tallied 97 RBI on 163 hits. Senior Michael Fecho is hitting .318 with a team-high 16 RBI on 21 hits, including one home run. Junior Jack Sorenson is 5-0 on the mound with the most innings pitched, 41, and has 24 strikeouts and a 2.20 ERA. The Cardinals of Coon Rapids are making their eighth overall appearance; their last was in 2010. The Cardinals have won previous titles in 1980, 1993, and 2008. They did not face any other qualifiers this year. Coon Rapids scored 107 runs while holding its opponents to 40. The Eagles had 87 RBI on 165 hits and their team batting average is .297. Senior Logan Shore has a team-leading .420 average on 21 hits, including two home runs, and 16 RBI. Shore is also the top pitcher for Coon Rapids and hasn’t lost a game in two years, going 14-0. He went 8-0 this year and threw a blistering 60 strikeouts in 48 innings with an ERA of 0.04. Junior Alex Boxwell added 13 RBI on 28 hits for the Cardinals with a batting average of .412.
(No. 5 Seed – Section 7) Forest Lake (18-5) vs. (No. 4 Seed - Section 4) Mounds View (17-6) — 12:30 p.m. June 13 at Midway Stadium, St. Paul. These two teams played a double-header on May 10 with Mounds View winning both games 4-1 and 3-2. Neither team faced any other qualifiers. The Rangers of Forest Lake return after a one-year absence to make their eighth appearance. Forest Lake did not provide team or individual statistics. Mounds View is making its fifth appearance, but first since 2000. The Mustangs tallied 104 runs this year and their opponents scored 65 against them. Their team batting average is .303. Mounds View is led offensively by senior Austin Smestad who bats .435 with 13 RBI on 27 hits. Senior Max Knutson pitched 48 innings for the Mustangs, amassing a 4-1 record with 61 strikeouts and a 0.73 ERA. Senior Ethan Decaster pitched 36 innings, went 5-2 with a 2.36 ERA and struck out 28.
(Section 8) Rocori, Cold Spring (16-8) vs. (No. 3 Seed - Section 3) Lakeville North (19-4) — 3:00 p.m. June 13 at Midway Stadium, St. Paul. The Spartans of Rocori are returning to tournament action after a two-year hiatus. This is their seventh appearance and they won previous titles in 1992 and 2010. The Spartans hit .305 collectively and outscored their opponents 122-96. They have also stolen 48 bases. Senior Marshal Wirtzfeld hit .368 this year with 25 hits and eight RBI, and junior Kirby Tebrake bats .375 with 15 hits and nine RBI. Seniors Reed Pfannenstein and Jake Hennen shared equal time on the mound for Rocori. Pfannenstein went 4-2 over 49 innings with 61 strikeouts and a 2.70 ERA. Hennen’s record was 7-2 over 54 innings with 51 strikeouts and a 2.07 ERA. The Panthers of Lakeville North are making their first tournament appearance. The Panthers scored 140 runs this year to their opponents’ 72, and they have a team batting average of .334. Junior Dalton Lehnen wields the heaviest bat for Lakeville North; his average is .412 with 20 RBI on 28 hits, including four home runs. Dalton also went 4-1 on the mound with 56 strikeouts in 39 innings and an ERA of 1.07. Senior Jordan Jacobson went 6-2 while pitching and tossed 36 strikeouts in 41 innings. Jacobson’s ERA is 3.10. Senior Erik Rutt hits .405 with 17 RBI on 30 hits. Neither team faced any other qualifiers during the regular season.
(Section 1) Rochester Mayo (14-11) vs. (No. 2 Seed - Section 2) Minnetonka (21-6) — 5:30 p.m. June 13 at Midway Stadium, St. Paul. The Spartans of Rochester Mayo are making their eighth appearance, with their last coming in 2010. Rochester Mayo did not face any other qualifiers during the regular season. The Spartans scored 156 runs on 219 hits and has held opponents to 113 runs on 172 hits. The team’s collective batting average is .298. Senior Christian Rosenow bats .460 for Mayo and tallied 14 RBI on a team-leading 40 hits. Jackson Douglas, a junior, went 6-3 on the mound for the Spartans with a 3.17 ERA. He threw 48 strikeouts in 57 innings. The Minnetonka Skippers are making their 10th appearance, but their first since 2003. They split a series with Wayzata during the regular season. They lost the first game 6-0 and won the second 4-2. Minnetonka did not provide team or individual statistics.