Baseball 2023: Road to the Prep Championship Series
Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 9:11 AM
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 Friday, June 16, 2023 at CHS Field in downtown St. Paul. .
Three of the four top seeds survived the quarterfinals and semifinals that were played on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Those top seeds still alive are Esko (Class AA), New Prague (Class AAA) and Rosemount (AAA).
Here is a look at the matchups:
No. 3 Lyle/Pacelli (24-1) vs. No. 5 Fosston (23-4), 10 a.m.
- Road to CHS Field: Lyle/Pacelli defeated Hinckley-Finlayson 4-3 in the quarterfinals; defeated No. 2 New Ulm Cathedral 6-1 in the semifinals. Fosston defeated No. 4 Legacy Christian Academy 5-4 in the quarterfinals; defeated Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 7-5 in the semifinals.
- Previous championship game appearances: It is the first championship game appearance for both teams.
Around the Bases
- This is the first time in four state tournament trips that Fosston is playing in the winners’ side of the bracket.
- Lyle/Pacelli used a six-run third inning in its victory over New Ulm Cathedral in the semifinals.
Perham (24-3) vs. No. 1 Esko (26-1), 1 p.m.
- Road to CHS Field: Perham defeated No. 3 Foley 7-4 in the quarterfinals; defeated No. 2 Fairmont 3-2 in the semifinals. Esko defeated St. Agnes 1-0 in the quarterfinals; defeated No. 5 Cannon Falls 7-5 in the semifinals.
- Previous championship game appearances: Perham 1 (Class AA runner-up to Kasson-Mantorville in 2013); Esko, first
Around the Bases:
- Unseeded Perham is attempting to complete an upset trifecta by knocking off No. 1 Esko.
- Junior Isaak Sertich belted a grand slam in the fourth inning to help send Esko to a semifinal victory over Cannon Falls.
- Esko opened the season with 19 consecutive victories before losing to Wadena-Deer Creek in the regular season finale. In the postseason, the streak is seven consecutive wins.
- Esko defeated Perham 3-0 on May 25.
No. 3 Mahtomedi (19-6) vs. No. 1 New Prague (23-3), 4:30 p.m.
- Road to CHS Field: Mahtomedi defeated Byron 3-0 in the quarterfinals; defeated Grand Rapids 3-2 in the semifinals. New Prague defeated Little Falls 10-5 in the quarterfinals; defeated No. 4 Monticello 6-5 in the semifinals.
- Previous championship game appearances: Mahtomedi 3 (Class AAA championships in 2018 and 2021; Class AAA runner-up, 2016); New Prague 1 (Class AAAA runner-up in 2019).
Around the Bases:
- On the back of the Mahtomedi warm-up shirts, the word “FERDA” appears in bold letters. It is a team-bonding message that is short for “Ferda Boys.”
- Mahtomedi jump out early on Grand Rapids with three runs in the first two innings in the semifinal victory. Strong defense and pitching took over from there.
- Mahtomedi’s all-time record in the baseball state tournament is 14-8.
- Mahtomedi was the consolation final winner in 2022.
- New Prague needed to dig deep for late-inning dramatics to keep their championship dreams alive. The Trojans scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the winning run with two outs, to hold off an upset bid from No. 4 Monticello.
- New Prague is on a 14-game winning streak dating to May 9.
- No. 2 East Ridge (19-8) vs. No. 1 Rosemount (19-6), 7:30 p.m.
- Road to CHS Field: East Ridge defeated Lakeville South 9-1 in the quarterfinals; defeated No. 3 Minnetonka 4-3 in the semifinals. Rosemount defeated Sartell 4-0 in the quarterfinals; defeated No. 4 Edina 12-2 in the semifinals.
- Previous championship game appearances: East Ridge 1 (Class AAAA champion in 2019); Rosemount 1 (Class AA runner-up in 1995)
Around the Bases:
- East Ridge is the second consecutive Section 4AAAA representative to earn a berth in the championship game. Last season, Stillwater won the big-school crown.
- East Ridge is 5-0 in its two state tournament appearances.
- Rosemount used a 10-run sixth inning en route to defeating Edina in the semifinals. The first 12 batters of the inning reached base.
- Rosemount enters the state championship game on a 10-game winning streak.