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2024 Baseball State Tournament: Road to the Prep Championship Series

Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2024 - 6:17 PM

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It’s now down to two teams in each class of the Minnesota State High School League’s Baseball State Tournament. Championship games will be played in the four enrollment classes in the annual Prep Championship Series on Monday, June 17 at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. 

There are no top seeds remaining in contention for championships. Instead, there are two No. 2 seeds, two No. 3 seeds, three No. 4 seeds and a No. 5 seed still battling for a championship. 

Here is a look at the matchups: 

Class A

No. 2 Parkers Prairie Panthers (25-1) vs. No. 4 Springfield Tigers (24-2), 10 a.m.

  • Road to Target Field: Parkers Prairie def. Heritage Christian Academy 3-0 in the quarterfinals and Sacred Heart 7-1 in the semifinals; Springfield def. No. 5 New York Mills 4-0 in the quarterfinals and No. 1 Cherry 4-2 in the semifinals. 
  • Previous championship game appearances: Parkers Prairie was the Class A runner-up in 2016 and the Class A champion in 2017; Springfield was the Class A runner-up in 2015 and champion in 2016.

Around the Bases

  • The only loss this season for Parkers Prairie was a 6-3 setback to New York Mills on May 8. 
  • Junior shortstop Nolan Steidl’s two-run double down the left field line in the first inning set the tone for Parkers Prairie in its semifinal victory over Sacred Heart. 
  • Parkers Prairie has scored at least 10 runs in a game 10 times this season.
  • Springfield is on a 15-game winning steak. 
  • Junior first baseman Noah Neperman fueled the Tigers’ upset victory over Cherry with a two-run single in the fifth inning. 
  • Springfield opened the season on a nine-game winning streak and then lost a doubleheader to Sleepy Eye on April 25. The Tigers haven’t lost since.

Class AA

No. 2 Rockford Rockets (25-5) vs. No. 4 Foley (23-4), 1 p.m.

  • Road to Target Field: Rockford def. Blake 2-1 in the quarterfinals and LeSueur-Henderson 7-3 in the semifinals; Foley def. No. 5 Zumbrota-Mazeppa 6-5 in the quarterfinals and No. 1 Esko 4-0 in the semifinals.
  • Previous championship game appearances: This is the first appearance for both teams. 

Around the Bases

  • Rockford junior pitcher Aiden Smith hit a two-run home run to left center field in the bottom of the first inning during the Rockets’ semifinals victory over LeSueur-Henderson. 
  • Rockford is on a seven-game winning streak. 
  • Rockford played eight games in the Section 5AA tournament, winning five games through the losers’ bracket. 
  • Foley started quickly in its dethroning of reigning Class AA champion Esko in the semifinals with two runs in the first inning and another in the second inning to set the tone. 
  • Foley bumped its current winning streak to 11 games with two victories in the state tournament. 
  • Foley and Albany scored a combined 36 runs on May 17 with Foley winning, 19-17.

Class AAA

No. 3 Mahtomedi Zephyrs (22-4) vs. No. 5 Totino-Grace Eagles (18-8), 4:30 p.m.

  • Road to Target Field: Mahtomedi def. Northfield 8-1 in the quarterfinals and def. Grand Rapids 5-3 in the semifinals; Totino-Grace def. No. 5 Little Falls 4-0 in the quarterfinals and def. No. 1 Benilde-St. Margaret’s 2-0 in the semifinals. 
  • Previous championship game appearances: Mahtomedi was the Class AAA runner-up in 2016 and champions in 2018 and 2021, respectively. Last season, the Zephyrs were the Class AAA runner-up to New Prague. Totino-Grace is making its baseball championship game debut.

Around the Bases

  • Mahtomedi is a team that likes to jump on an opponent early. In their semifinal victory over Grand Rapids, the Zephyrs built early momentum with a three-run first inning. 
  • Junior left-handed pitcher Ethan Felling leads Mahtomedi from the mound and has a .419 batting average. He has committed to play at Texas Christian University. 
  • Mahtomedi is on a 10-game winning streak.
  • Totino-Grace is looking for another state championship this season. In March, the school’s boys basketball team won the Class AAA championship for the third consecutive season. 
  • Totino-Grace opened the season by losing five in a row and then six of its first seven. Things are much better now; they are 14-1 in the past 15. 
  • The Eagles had 15 flyball outs and four groundball outs in their upset victory over Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the semifinals. 

Class AAAA

No. 3 East Ridge Raptors (20-6) vs. No. 5 Mounds View Mustangs (20-8), 7:30 p.m.

  • Road to Target Field: East Ridge def. Eastview 7-1 in the quarterfinals and def. Forest Lake 10-1 in the semifinals; Mounds View def. No. 4 Minnetonka 11-1 in the quarterfinals and def. No. 1 Wayzata 5-4 in eight innings in the semifinals. 
  • Previous championship game appearances: East Ridge was the Class AAAA champion in 2019 and 2023, respectively; Mounds View were back-to-back Class AAA champions in 2013 and 2014, respectively. 

Around the Bases

  • This will be the third time East Ridge and Mounds View will play one another this season. They split two games earlier during the Suburban East Conference schedule. Mounds View posted a 10-4 victory on April 22 and East Ridge got them back in a 2-1 win on May 13.
  • East Ridge senior shortstop Luke Skinner had three hits in East Ridge’s semifinal win over Forest Lake, another member of the Suburban East Conference. He also had a two-run homer in the quarterfinal victory over Eastview. 
  • Mounds View made sure there were no remaining undefeated high school baseball teams remaining in Minnesota with a 5-4 victory over top-ranked Wayzata in the semifinals. Senior second baseman Aiden Bale and senior pitcher Tyler Guerin had RBI singles to fuel the Mustangs in the upset win. 
  • Guerin is a University of Iowa recruit. He had a grand slam in Mounds View’s 11-1 victory over No. 4 Minnetonka in the quarterfinals. 
  • At one point late in the regular season, Mounds View lost four conference games in a row. Since May 17, the Mustangs are 9-2. 

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