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2024 Baseball State Tournament: Class AAA Championship

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2024 - 1:45 PM

Base AAA

Totino-Grace, the No. 4 seed to open the Class AAA tournament, secured its first Class AAA baseball state championship in its first appearance in the title game. This, after the Eagles started the season on a five-game losing streak. 

“It’s the first one in T-G history, so it’s a pretty big moment for us,” said junior pitcher Tommy Heifort.

The Eagles (19-8) defeated No. 3 seed Mahtomedi 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Target Field. Eagles starting pitcher, Heifort, tossed a complete game, allowing one run, four hits, a walk and striking out eight on 86 pitches, 59 for strikes. 

Senior third baseman Noah Hill had a pair of run-producing hits, going 2-for-4 with RBI singles in the first and third innings for an Eagles lead that they wouldn’t give up in the low-scoring pitcher’s duel.

“All year long, it’s just been about battling,” Hill said. “We knew we were going to face a good pitcher. So, we have to go out there and attack.” 

On the mound, Heifort did his job attacking the Mahtomedi lineup. He finished the season on a high note after battling injuries earlier this season, dealing first with a broken hand and then a twisted ankle.  

“For him to be able to come out and do this in the sections and this game, I mean, what a kid,” said Eagles coach Mike Smith. “He just battled so hard.” 

Totino-Grace wins the state championship after starting this season on an 0-5 skid. But they rebounded well and finished the season 15-1 in their last 16 games. The Eagles allowed only one run in the state tournament, shutting out No. 5 seed Little Falls 4-0 in the quarterfinals and then upsetting top-seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s 2-0 in the semifinals. 

Mahtomedi’s starting pitcher, junior Ethan Felling, threw 106 pitches (69 strikes) across six innings, allowing one earned run, four hits, two walks and striking out nine batters.  

The Zephyrs (22-5) were held to two hits through five innings before a pair of singles in the sixth put runners at the corners with one out. The lead runner later scored on a pickoff attempt to first base with the rundown throw then going to second base. Both runners advanced safely, making it a 2-1 game. 

The loss snaps a 10-game winning streak for Mahtomedi. Zephyrs, state champions in 2018 and 2021, finish as the Class 3A runner-up for the second year in a row. 

Baseball TG AAA Champ

Meet Totino-Grace, the Class AAA Baseball State Champion for 2024.

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