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Section 1A and 1AA baseball first-round matchups

Section 1A and 1AA baseball tournament play begins on Wednesday and here is a look at the matchups in the opening round, which is an elimination round.

St. Charles, Dover-Eyota baseball
St. Charles’ Tytan Small bats during a baseball game against Dover-Eyota on Friday, May 6, 2022, in St. Charles. Small is batting .419 for the Saints this season, who are the No. 7 seed in the Section 1AA East Subsection.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
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SECTION 1A

The Section 1A baseball tournament begins on Wednesday and 15 teams will be vying for a state berth. Hayfield is the defending section and Class A state champion and is the favorite in the section this season.

Here is a capsule look at the first round, which is an elimination round. After the first round the final eight teams advance to double-elimination play and the tournament moves to Riverland Community College in Austin.

Lourdes, Chatfield are the top subsection seeds in the Section 1AA baseball tournament, which begins on Wednesday
A scoreboard of baseball games.

No. 1 Hayfield, bye: The Vikings (17-2) have a deep and talented team led by University of Minnesota commit Easton Fritcher (.583 average, five home runs, 24 RBIs). Nolan Klocke (.417, two homers, 17 RBIs, 3-0 record, 1.54 ERA) and Karver Heydt (.340, two home runs, 26 RBIs, 5-0 record, 0.78 ERA) are other standouts for a team that averages nine runs a game and has seven wins by 10 or more runs.

No. 9 Fillmore Central/Lanesboro at. No. 8 Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger: The Two teams did not meet in the regular season. GEAC (10-8) played No. 2 seed Lyle/Pacelli close during two regular-season losses. Fillmore Central/Lanesboro (6-11) has a balanced offense led by Bryce Corson (.520 average, 11 RBs), Stephan Schultz (.404, 16 RBIs), Dillon O’Connor (.312, 11 RBIs), Cooper Ferrie (.302, 14 RBIs) and Ty Sexton (.302, 10 RBIs).

No. 13 Houston at No. 4 Kenyon-Wanamingo: Kenyon-Wanamingo (11-8) was 10-runned by Hayfield twice on May 20. Trevor Steberg (four wins, 1.38 ERA) is the likely starter for K-W in the opener. On offense the Knights are led by Dillon Bartel (.387), Gavin Sommer (.361), Colton Steberg (.321), Steberg (.302) and Willie Van Epps (13 RBIs). Houston (4-15) has struggled with its pitching and is allowing an average of 10.5 runs per game. The Hurricanes are led by Zach Olson and Logan Olson.

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No. 12 Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton at No. 5 Rushford-Peterson: Rushford-Peterson (9-10) is the No. 5 seed despite having a losing record. The Trojans are led by Alex Ronnenberg (.303 average, 14 RBIs), Andrew Wilkemeyer (.303), Tommy Ekern (14 RBIs) and Justin Ruberg (four wins, 2.82 ERA). JWP (4-12) enters having lost seven of eight but suffering just a 4-0 loss to Hayfield during the regular season.

No. 15 Schaeffer Academy at No. 2 Lyle/Pacelli: Lyle/Pacelli beat Schaeffer 10-0 and 13-2 during the regular season. L/P averages 9.9 runs a game and is led by Hunter VaDeer (.542, two homers, 22 RBIs), Landon Meyer (.387), Mac Nelson (.373, three wins, 3.14 ERA), Jake Truckenmiller 20 RBIs) and Jack Klingfus (five wins, 1.98 ERA). Winless Schaeffer (0-20) allows 13.2 runs per game. Cole Morgan (.632, 16 RBIs, 0.46 ERA) is the top hitter and pitcher for the Lions.

No. 10 Wabasha-Kellogg at No. 7 Spring Grove: Spring Grove (11-7) averages 8.7 runs a game and split a pair of one-run games with Lyle/Pacelli. The Lions are led by Jaxon Strinmoen (.500 average, eight RBIs, 2-1, 2.03 ERA), Elijah Solum (.433, 10 RBIs), Ezra Griffin (.314), Brandon Jahnke (11 RBIs) and Caleb Griffin (3-0, 1.58 ERA). W-K is just 6-13, but 11 of those losses were to Class AA teams.

No. 14 Goodhue at No. 3 Southland: Southland (12-6) can score runs in bunches as it averaged 9.9 per game, including scoring more than 20 twice. The Rebels are led by Harrison Hanna, Jonas Wiste and Riley Jax. Winless Goodhue (0-20) has allowed a section-worst 13.8 runs per game but plays most of its games against Class AA and AAA schools. The Wildcats are led by Adam Poncelet (.440) and Ethan Breuer (.400).

No. 11 Mabel-Canton at No. 6 United South Central: USC (9-6) was surging at the end of the season and suffered a narrow 6-5 loss to Hayfield in Gopher Conference play. M-C (5-12) has struggled overall, but it did post wins over Lyle/Pacelli and Rushford-Peterson during the regular season and could be a threat to pull off a first-round upset with Isaac Underbakke and/or Cayden Tollefsrud on the mound.

Section 1AA

The Section 1AA baseball tournament begins on Wednesday and also consists of 15 teams. Plainview-Elgin-Millville was the section winner a year ago and this season Lourdes, the runner-up in 2021, and Chatfield are the top seeds in the West and East Subsection.

Here is a capsule look at the first round, which is an elimination round. After the first round the final eight teams advance to double-elimination play and the tournament moves to Cannon Falls in the West Subsection and to La Crescent in the East Subsection. The final four teams then move to section play in Rochester.

West Subsection

No. 1 Lourdes, bye: The Eagles (14-4) have the pitching depth to make a strong run for the section title. Joe Speery is one of the top players in the section as he is hitting .490 with six homers and 27 RBIs and also has five wins and a 0.52 ERA. Carter Wenszell (three wins, 0.58 ERA) provides a strong No. 2 pitching option while Nick Bowron (.467, 21 RBIs), Isaac Wenszell (.378), Gannon Fix Lourdes (20 RBIs), Sam Scheider (14 RBIs) and Sam Stanley (19 runs) are other offensive leaders.

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No. 5 Zumbrota-Mazeppa at No. 4 Pine Island: Pine Island (8-10) faced Lourdes to close the regular season and suffered a close (4-3) and lopsided loss (13-3) in a doubleheader. The Panthers might try to hold ace Johnny Bauer for the second round, but they split a pair of one-run games with Z-M during the regular season. Bauer (.447, 11 RBIs) is also an offensive leader for Pine Island as are Matt Horkey (.407), Isaac Dale (two homers, 11 RBIs) and Nick Bauer (11 RBIs). Z-M (7-11) lost a pair of games by 10-plus runs to Lourdes during the regular season.

No. 7 GMLOK at No. 2 Cannon Falls: Cannon Falls (11-8) split two games during the regular season with Lorudes. The Bombers, who closed the season 8-2, are led by Beau Zimmerman (.352, three homers, 21 RBIs, four wins), Preson Carlisle (.341) and Jonny Monson (four wins, 2.16 ERA). GMLOK allowed 9.9 runs per game and allowed 16 or more four times.

No. 6 Triton at No. 3 Dover-Eyota: Dover-Eyota (12-5) had won four straight before dropping a pair to Chatfield to close the season. The Eagles are led by Noland Thompson (.619), Maverick Sobczak (.467, 22 RBIs), Karsen Behnken (.451, 26 RBIs), Landon Lehnertz (.420, 18 RBIs), Ryan Shea (.346, 14 RBIs) and Levi Williams (three wins, 0.62 ERA) and have a balance pitching staff. Triton (6-10) suffered five shutout losses during the season.

East Subsection

No. 8 Winona Cotter at No. 1 Chatfield: The top-seeded Gophers (17-1) are ranked in the top 10 in the state in Class AA. Chatfield is led by Caden Nolte (.481 average, 25 RBIs, 5-0 record, 1.23 ERA), Carter Daniels (.415, 11 RBIs, 5-0, 2.17 ERA), Drew O'Connor (.404, three homers, 13 RBIs), Drew Schindler (.339, 12 RBIs) and Luke Carrier .319. The Ramblers (3-13) lost 9-3 to Chatfield during the regular season.

No. 5 Lake City at No. 4 Plainview-Elgin-Millville: P-E-M (13-7) closed the regular season with a 6-4 win over Lake City. The Bulldogs were 0-2 against Chatfield, including a loss by one run in 11 innings.P-E-M is led by Jameston Brinkman (.442, 24 RBIs, 2-1, 3.00 ERA), Jason Feils (.421, 2-2, 1.89 ERA), Peyton Schumacher (.440), Matthew Keller (.360, two home runs, 16 RBIs), Johnny Evers (.353, 13 RBIs), Baden Fenton; (.365, nine RBIs), Connor McGuire (.349, nine RBIs) and Carson Reeve (3-1, 2.33 ERA). Lake City (8-11) struggled to score runs, averaging just 3.3 per contest. Owen Meyers had 10 RBIs while Jon Harvey and Karch Hegge both collected three wins.

No. 7 St. Charles at No. 2 La Crescent-Hokah: La Crescent-Hokah (16-4) split a pair of games against No. 3 Caledonia and was nipped by a run in nine innings against No. 1 Chatfield. The Lancers are led by Karson Pape (.460, 11 RBIs), Jack Welch (.417, 16 RBIs, four wins, 2.60 ERA), Eli McCool (.348, 15 RBIs, 2.22 ERA) and Zack Bentzen (15 RBIs, 2.22 ERA). St. Charles (7-11) lost 15-5 to the Lancers during the season, but handed Chatfield its lone loss. The Saints are led by Carson Sanders (.395, 17 RBIs) Tytan Small (.419, 11 RBIs) and Carter Mathison (.346).

No. 6 Lewiston-Altura at No. 3 Caledonia: Caledonia (12-7) doesn’t quite have the offensive firepower as in past years and has been shutout four times. The Warriors did split with potential second-round foe La Crescent-Hokah. The Warriors are led by Thane Meiners (.326, five wins, 2.65 ERA), Tristan Augedah (two wins, 1.48 ERA), Ayden Goetzinger (.375), Ben Stemper (.348) and Kyle Bechtel (.312). L-A (7-9) was 0-2 during the season against Caledonia. The Cardinals are led by Caleb Mueller (.477, two homers, nine RBIs, two wins, 3.11 ERA), Kyle Fredrickson (.435, 16 RBIs), Matt Schell (.444, eight RBIs) and Eli Jensen (three wins, 3.81 ERA).

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Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or glimbeck@postbulletin.com.
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