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Breaking down the Section 1 baseball championship games

Four section champions will be crowned over the next two nights in southeastern Minnesota. Here's a quick look at all four baseball section title games.

Hayfield, Byron baseball
Hayfield’s Easton Fritcher (4) bats during a baseball game against Byron on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Hayfield.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
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Four teams will represent Section 1 at the state baseball tournaments next week.

Those four section champions will be crowned over the next two days at four different sites in Rochester, Austin and Red Wing.

Here’s a look at the four matchups that will determine the 2022 Section 1 champions:

Section 1A

Who: No. 1 seed Hayfield (21-2) vs. No. 3 Southland (17-7)

When: 5 p.m. today (second game at 7 p.m., if necessary)

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Where: Riverland Community College, Austin

At stake: The winner advances to next week’s Class A state tournament, beginning June 14 in St. Cloud

In the driver’s seat: Hayfield needs to beat Southland just once to win the double-elimination section tournament. Southland needs to beat the Vikings twice to advance to state.

How they got here: Hayfield, the defending section and state champion, has breezed through three section playoff games, beating Fillmore Central/Lanesboro, Kenyon-Wanamingo and Lyle/Pacelli by a combined score of 30-4. … Southland has taken a longer route, having won four consecutive playoff games after falling 6-5 to United South Central in the second round. The Rebels have defeated Wabasha-Kellogg, K-W, Rushford-Peterson and L/P to earn a spot in the title game. … Hayfield has won 14 consecutive games. … Hayfield and Southland have not faced one another this season.

Section 1AA

Who: Lourdes (17-4) vs. Plainview-Elgin-Millville (17-8)

When: 5 p.m. today (second game at 7:30 p.m., if necessary)

Where: Mayo Field, Rochester

At stake: The winner advances to next week’s Class AA state tournament, beginning June 14 in St. Cloud

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In the driver’s seat: Lourdes needs to beat P-E-M just once to win the double-elimination section tournament. P-E-M needs to beat the Eagles twice to advance to state.

How they got here: Lourdes’ pitching and defense has been nearly impenetrable in the postseason. The Eagles have allowed just one total run in wins over Pine Island (10-0), Cannon Falls (4-0) and P-E-M (7-1). … P-E-M battled back through an elimination game, beating Pine Island 6-3 to earn a spot in the section final. The Bulldogs have won seven of their past eight and have averaged 8.6 runs per game in that span. The lone exception in that stretch: the 7-1 loss to Lourdes on Saturday in the section semifinal. … Lourdes has recorded seven shutouts this season and has allowed just one run in seven of its victories.

Section 1AAA

Who: No. 3 seed Winona (13-10) vs. No. 1 Byron (20-3)

When: 5 p.m. Wednesday (second game at 7:30 p.m., if necessary)

Where: Marcusen Park, Austin

At stake: The winner advances to next week’s Class AAA state tournament, beginning June 14 in Chaska

In the driver’s seat: Winona needs to beat Byron just once to win the double-elimination section tournament. Byron needs to beat the Winhawks twice to advance to state.

How they got here: Winona has handed Byron two of its three losses this season, including a 15-10 setback in the regular season on May 12, then a 6-5 win in the section semifinal game on Saturday at Byron. Winona was 6-9 at one point, but has gone 7-1 in its past eight games and has won its three playoff games by a combined score of 18-6. … Byron has lost just three times this season, two against Winona and once against defending Class A state champion Hayfield. After falling to Winona on Saturday, the Bears bounced back with a 5-1 win against Northfield. Byron averages a section-best 7.2 runs per game and 2.8 runs allowed per game. Winona averages 5.7 and 5.3.

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Section 1AAAA

Who: No. 1 seed Farmington (20-3) vs. No. 2 Lakeville South (13-11)

When: 5 p.m. today (second game at 7:30 p.m., if necessary)

Where: The Athletic Field, Red Wing

At stake: The winner advances to next week’s Class AAAA state tournament, beginning June 14 at CHS Field in St. Paul

In the driver’s seat: Farmington needs to beat South just once to win the double-elimination section tournament. South needs to beat the Tigers twice to advance to state.

How they got here: Farmington, the defending section and state champion, defeated John Marshall (8-4), Century (5-1) and South (2-0) to reach the title game without a loss in postseason play. The Tigers, who are 40-9 over the past two seasons, have lost just once in their past 19 games. They are 7-0 against section opponents this season, and average 7.7 runs per game, while allowing just 2.6. … South averages 4.5 runs per game and allows 3.8. The Cougars are 0-2 against Farmington this season, having lost 9-0 in the regular season and 2-0 on Saturday in the section winner’s bracket final. The Cougars rallied past Mayo, 3-2, to reach the championship game.

Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or jfeldman@postbulletin.com.
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