Baseball: Area baseball teams close in on state berths

Lewiston-Altura is looking to take the easier path to the Class A state baseball tournament this season.

Lewiston-Altura is looking to take the easier path to the Class A state baseball tournament this season.

L-A, the defending Section One, Class A champion, moved within one victory of earning a second consecutive state berth with a 10-2 victory against United South Central in the winners bracket final Saturday at Mayo Field.

A year ago Lewiston-Alutra had to battle through the losers bracket of the double-elimination section tournament. The Cardinals defeated Hayfield twice on the final day of section play to secure their first state berth in baseball.

"Last year was more nerve-wracking," said Lewiston-Altura coach Corey Schmitz, who has six starters back and 11 seniors on his veteran club. "Now, they've been in these games before."

L-A needs just one win on Tuesday at Mayo Field to earn a state berth. Only two straight losses would deny the Cardinals a repeat championship. USC and Randolph had their game from Saturday postponed because of rain. Randolph was leading 3-0 in the fourth inning and the game will be finished today. The winner advances to face L-A.


L-A brings a modest 11-13 record into Tuesday's 5 p.m. title game, but more than half of the losses have been to Class AA teams. Staff ace John Clobes (6-2, 0.74 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for the Cardinals.

• Pine Island is also within one victory of a state berth in Class AA. The Panthers had to put in overtime to pull out a narrow victory against Lake City. Brady Braaten knocked an RBI infield single off the pitcher's glove in the 10th inning as Pine Island posted a 2-1 win.

Pine Island (17-7) won its fourth straight playoff game, third straight by a single run and second in extra innings.

"I don't know if any one of our fans has any finger nails left, but I sure am a proud coach," said Pine Island head coach Craig Anderson.

P.I., after its first state tournament berth in 23 years, awaits its title-game opponent.

Lake City and Chatfield were in the third inning of a loser-out game when rain suspended action at Hudson Field on Saturday. The elimination game will resume with Chatfield leading 1-0 at 5 p.m. Monday.

Chatfield extended its season with a 5-3 win over Dover-Eyota in a loser-out game Saturday morning at John Adams field.

The Section 1AA championship game is at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Hudson Field, with a second game to follow if needed.

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