2023 Baseball State Tournament Advance
Posted: Monday, June 12, 2023 - 6:33 PM
Thirty-two teams will converge on four venues on Tuesday, June 13 for the opening round of the three-day Minnesota State High School League Baseball State Tournament. The Class A and Class AA tournament field will gather at Joe Faber Field and Dick Putz fields, respectively, in St. Cloud. The Class AAA field will play at the Mini Met in Jordan and CHS Field will host the Class AAAA teams.
Semifinal rounds are Wednesday with berths to the Prep Championship Series at stake. Four championship games will be played at Friday at CHS Field.
Here is a look at this season’s state tournament:
Tuesday’s quarterfinal matchups
At Joe Faber Field, St. Cloud
- Yellow Medicine East (17-3) vs. No. 2 New Ulm Cathedral (19-5), 10:30 a.m.
- Hinckley-Finlayson (13-10) vs. No. 3 Lyle/Pacelli (22-1), 1 p.m.
- Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (13-11) vs. No. 1 South Ridge (22-4), 3:30 p.m.
- No. 5 Fosston (21-4) vs. No. 4 Legacy Christian Academy (22-3), 6 p.m
South Ridge, located in Culver on the Iron Range, is the top seed in Class A. The Panthers, making their second consecutive state tournament appearance, are on a 9-1 streak entering this week. The only loss in that stretch was to Cherry in the Section 7A tournament. South Ridge then defeated Cherry twice, the second time 8-7 in eight innings for the section crown. New Ulm Cathedral placed sixth during the 2022 tournament. The Greyhounds had a nine-game winning streak late in the season. Lyle/Pacelli is the Section 1 champion for the first time. The Athletics’ only loss was an 8-1 setback to Southland on May 9. Since, Lyle/Pacelli is on a 12-game winning streak. Legacy Christian Academy was the Class A runner-up in 2017 and the consolation final winner the season before. The Lions’ only recent loss was to New Life Academy in the Section 4 tournament, but the rebounded for two victories in elimination games. Fosston is making its fourth state tournament trip and first since 2021. Greyhounds coach Ryan Hanlon has 225 victories in 15 seasons. Yellow Medicine East is making its state tournament debut. The Section 3 champions opened the season with two losses, but are since, 17-1. Hinckley-Finlayson are on a five-game postseason winning streak. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa is also making its state tournament debut. The Jaguars are on a six-game winning streak entering their historic first tournament.
At Dick Putz Field, St. Cloud
- Belle Plaine (18-6) vs. No. 2 Fairmont (22-2), 10 a.m.
- Perham (22-3) vs. No. 3 Foley (23-5), 12:30 p.m.
- St. Agnes (23-4) vs. No. 1 Esko (24-1), 3 p.m.
- No. 5 Cannon Falls (21-5) vs. No. 4 Holy Family Catholic (18-5), 5:30 p.m.
Esko cruised through the regular season, the only blemish a 2-0 loss to Wadena-Deer Creek in the finale. In the five-game postseason, the Eskomos outscored the opposition 59-10. It is Esko’s first state tournament appearance since its only trip in 2000. Fairmont is the defending Class AA champion. The Cardinals have looked sharp in what they hope will be a successful state title defense with just one loss during the regular season. Foley is 6-1 in neutral-site games. Holy Family Catholic is on a seven-game winning streak as it enters the state tournament for the fourth time and first since 2012. Cannon Falls went 2-1 against LaCrescent-Hokah in the Section 1 playoffs, the two victories comes in elimination games. Belle Plaine is in the state tournament for the fourth time since 2016. In that span, the Tigers were the Class AA runner-up in 2021. Perham opened the season 1-2, but didn’t lose again until a 3-0 setback to Esko on May 25. A spring season team from St. Agnes is playing in the state tournament for the second consecutive week. Following the lead of the softball team, the baseball qualified as the Section 4 champion. In eight previous trips, the Aggies have won two championship. St. Agnes finished fourth a season ago.
At Mini Met, Jordan
- Grand Rapids (16-10) vs. No. 2 St. Thomas Academy (18-6), 10 a.m.
- Byron (18-6) vs. No. 3 Mahtomedi (17-6), 12:30 p.m.
- Little Falls (19-6) vs. No. 1 New Prague (21-3), 3 p.m.
- No. 5 Benilde-St. Margaret’s (16-8) vs. No. 4 Monticello (19-3), 5:30 p.m.
New Prague opens the Class AAA tournament as the team to beat. The Trojans had a three-game skid, but have had a loss since May 8. New Prague was the Class AAAA runner-up in 2019. Senior catcher Jake Lundquist has five home runs and 25 RBIs. St. Thomas Academy is back as the Section 3 champion for the second consecutive season and fifth time overall. The Cadets scuffled a bit at the end of the regular season, losing 3 of 4, but are back on track with four consecutive postseason victories. Junior pitcher JD Dobis is 5-0 this season with a 0.66 earned-run average. Mahtomedi split against St. Thomas Academy during the Classic Suburban Conference schedule. Monticello opened the season with seven consecutive wins and is currently on a nine-game streak. Benilde-St. Margaret’s is the defending Class AAA champion. Junior Caleb Koskie is batting .515 and is 4-1 on the mound. Grand Rapids placed fourth in the 2022 tournament. The Thunderhawks have two state championships to their credit. Byron is making its first state tournament trip since 2000 and third overall. The Bears had three consecutive wins over Northfield in the Section 1 tournament. Little Falls is one of Minnesota’s most storied prep baseball programs with 16 state tournament trips. In that span, the Flyers have two championships and five third-place finishes.
- Lakeville South (16-8) vs. No. 2 East Ridge (17-8), 10 a.m.
- Mounds View (15-9) vs. No. 3 Minnetonka (17-7), 1 p.m.
- Sartell (19-5) vs. No. 1 Rosemount (17-6), 4:30 p.m.
- No. 5 Anoka (18-6) vs. No. 4 Edina (18-8), 7:30 p.m.
A week ago, the Rosemount softball team opened as the top seed in Class AAAA and proceeded to win a championship. Is the same in store for the baseball team? Despite beginning the season 1-4, the Irish are on an eight-game winning streak are tabbed the team to beat in the big-school field. Senior pitcher Carter Theisen is 6-1 with a 1.11 ERA and yielding opponents just a .188 batting average. East Ridge had to get past Cretin-Derham Hall twice in elimination games to win Section 4. Junior third baseman Alex Mezzetti is batting nearly .400 with six homers and 20 extra-base hits. Minnetonka is making its 13th state tournament trip and seeking its first title. Junior pitcher Evan Kueppers has 10 saves for the Skippers. He has surrendered just eight hits in 22 innings. As a school, Edina is closing in on 200 team state championships among all activities. The Hornets contributed to that with baseball titles in 1968 and 1983. Edina split two games with Minnetonka during the Lake Conference schedule. Anoka, the Section 7 champion, had an eight-game winning streak midway through the season and is currently on a four-game spree. Lakeville South, making its first appearance since 2014 and second overall, opened the regular season with two losses and bookended it with two others, including a setback to Rosemount to end the regular season. But since, the Cougars are 4-0 in the postseason. In 10 previous state tournament runs, Mounds View has two titles. Junior catcher Drew Rogers powers the Mustangs with a .433 batting average with nine home runs and 46 RBIs. He has committed to play at Georgia Tech. Sartell is the lone returning entrant in the Class AAAA field from a year ago when it finished sixth. Sartell is on a seven-game winning streak.