Teams to beat in the Section 1AAAA and 1AAA baseball playoffs

The Section 1AAAA and 1AAA baseball tournaments will begin this week with the winner of each section earning a state berth. Here are the top teams in each section.

Mayo, John Marshall baseball
Mayo's Mason Leimbek bats during a baseball game against John Marshall on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Mayo Field in Rochester. Leimbek is hitting .394 with two home runs and 10 RBIs heading into the Section 1AAAA tournament.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — The Section 1AAAA and 1AAA playoffs are set to begin with the winner of each section earning a trip to the state tournament.

Both sections will play a double-elimination format. Section 1AAAA has just six teams and 1AAA features eight teams.

Here is a look at the top seeds in both Section 1AAAA and 1AAA.



The Spartans (16-4) have emerged as the top section seed and lead 1AAAA with a QRF of 141.0, 16th among Class AAAA teams. Ian Regal leads a strong offensive attack as he is hitting .368 with eight doubles, four homers and 27 RBIs). Other top offensive players include Mason Leimbek (.394, three doubles, two triples, two HRs, 10 RBIs), Carson Beavers (.364, four doubles, one HR, 10 RBIs), Ethan Labrash (.326,10 RBIs) and Liam Dahl (15 RBIs). The left-handed Regal is also 5-1 on the mound with a 2.54 ERA while Chase Gasner (4-0, 0.79 ERA) and Kasey Carlson (3-2, 3.10 ERA) are other top pitchers.


Lakeville South

The Cougars (12-8) are the No. 2 seed and had won six in a row before dropping two straight to close the regular season. Lakeville South has played a lot of close low-scoring games. The team has played 13 games decided by three or fewer runs and is 4-1 in games that were either 2-0 or 1-0. Lakeville South allows just 3.9 runs per game, the best in the section, but it is also the lowest scoring team in 1AAAA at 3.3 runs per game.

Section 1 baseball pairings for the 2023 playoffs


Farmington (11-9) slid at the end of the season dropping its final three games. The start of that skid was a 4-3 loss to Lakeville South. The Tigers have been the cream of the section and a state power the past two years. Farmington has won the past two Section 1AAAA titles and placed first at state in 2021 and second in 2022. Farmington suffered a 4-3 loss to Mayo in its first game of the regular season.


The fifth-seeded Panthers (7-10) picked up their hitting at the end of the season after struggling early on. Pitching could be a big factor if Century is to make a deep run. Right-hander Ryan Ohm is 2-1 with a 1.47 ERA with 25 K’s and just five walks. Sophomore lefty Mike Ruff is 1-2 with two saves and a 2.10 ERA. Ohm also leads the team in hitting with a .373 batting average, three doubles and 17 runs scored. Other top offensive players include Jerry Fletcher (.311 three doubles, one triple, one home run), Peyton Milene (.298, two doubles, one triple, nine RBIs) and Harrison Esau (.277, four doubles, 12 RBIs).

Mayo, John Marshall baseball
John Marshall's Aaron Terpstra (3) delivers a pitch during a baseball game against Mayo on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Mayo Field in Rochester. Terpstra has a 3-3 record with a 3.82 ERA heading into Section 1AAAA play.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

John Marshall

The Rockets (5-14), the No. 6 seed in the six-team section, have to hope their top starters can go deep in games as overall the team has allowed 10-plus runs in six games. Aaron Terpstra has pitched plenty of games against top teams and is 3-3 with a 3.82 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 29 ⅓ innings. Adam Hegrenes is 2-3 with a 2.22 ERA with 21 K’s in 28 ⅓ innings. The offense is led by Nolan Wayne (.397 average, three doubles, five RBIs, 13 runs) and Aiden Smoley (.309, four doubles, eight RBIs, seven runs).



The Raiders (15-5) are the No. 1 seed in the section and after a 3-4 start, they finished with a torrid 12-1 run. Led by staff ace Nolan Thompson, six of the Raiders’ last nine wins were by shutout, including victories over Red Wing and Mayo. The defense allows section-best 3.5 runs per game while the offense is second in 1AAA at 7.2 runs per game. The offense is led by Kam Kaiser, Jake Geiger, Spencer Mellgren and Austin Koep. Kaiser had a game with six RBIs during the season.

Red Wing

The No. 2 seeded Wingers (13-7) handled first-round foe Winona twice during the regular season. The Wingers only faced top seed Northfield once and suffered a 9-0 setback. The offense has some nice balance and is led by Abe Reinitz (.347 average, 21 RBIs), Tyler Rodgers (.320, 20 runs), Reid Hartmann (.333, .989 OPS) and Lou De Jong (.333). Will Jacobson (3-1 record, 2.01 ERA) has been the team’s top starting pitcher while Logan Norquist tossed a shutout against No. 5 seed Austin in the regular-season finale.



The third-seeded Bears (14-5) were consistent all season and had winning streaks of five and three games. The offense averages a section-best 8.6 runs per game and is led by Owen Jefferson-Kroc (.465, seven doubles, 14 RBIs 11 runs), Kaelin Huebert (.448, 23 RBIs, 19 runs), Spencer Nierman (.380, 13 RBIs, 17 runs) and Jake Coshenet (.370, five doubles, one homer, 12 RBIs 14 runs). The pitching has depth in Quinten Holmes (1.4 ERA, 33, strikeouts), Aidan Gross (five wins, 2.58 ERA), Gavin Bartel (2.84 ERA, 30 strikeouts) and lefty Reid Bielen (3.32 ERA).


Colton Parker is a perfect 5-0 on the mound for the fourth-seeded Tigers (15-5) while Titan Klunder is 3-1 and Ale Tapia has recorded four saves. Center fielder Owen Sikkink sparks the offense (.481 average, 24 runs, 17 steals) which also features Alex Hebl (.391), Parker (.328, 20 RBIs), shortstop Reed Neubauer (.349, 15 RBIs) and Brady Pickett (.286, 19 runs). The Tigers suffered a narrow 7-6 loss to Northfield during the season and have a five-game win streak heading into section play.

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
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