Heritage Christian, Maple Lake, Mahtomedi State Baseball Champs
Three of the four Minnesota high school baseball titles were determined Saturday at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. Heavy morning rain delayed the start of the games 4 hours and 22 minutes. The Class AAAA championship will be Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Heritage Christian Academy Eagles flew past the Sleepy Eye Indians 8-0 to win their first Class A baseball title Saturday. The #2 seed Maple Lake Irish defeated #1 Marshall School, Duluth 8-4 for the Class AA title and the #1 Mahtomedi Zephyrs downed #2 Rocori 5-1.
Minnesota Twin draftee Seth Halvorsen rewarded his teammates for saving him for the championship game with a 16 strikeout performance in the field and three hits and 4 RBI at the plate. He became the fifth player in state high school history to have a two home run game in the state championship. Halvorsen threw two innings of relief in the tournament opener so he was available for the title game. Heritage Christian was defeated by Randolph in their Section 4A Tournament and had to defeat the Rockets twice to advance to state. That momentum continued.
Sleepy Eye had 5 hits and left 7 runners on base. Heritage Christian collected 12 hits and left 8 runners on base. The top of the order and battery of Halvorsen and Taylor Broderson had 5 hits and 7 RBI. The Eagles tallied 3 runs in the first two innings and 5 runs in the fourth and fifth innings to secure the win. Broderson had two doubles and in the game.
The Maple Lake Irish were the fourth team at their school to win a state title this year. The softball team accomplished it last weekend, volleyball and true team track and field also collected state titles. The Hilltoppers took the lead early with three runs in the first two innings while collecting 8 hits in the game. The Irish had 11 hits and left 3 runners on base. Marshall School, Duluth left 7 stranded on the bases.
Maple Lake pitcher Grand Mergen threw 3 innings the opening day of the tournament and was available to reward his team for that decision. He struck out 5 and walked 2 while giving up 2 earned runs. At the plate Mergen had two hits and 3 RBI.
Maple Lake finished their year with a record of 25-2 and Marshall School, Duluth is 23-5. The Hilltoppers top two batters had four hits in the game. Maddux Baggs and Peter Hansen are both juniors.
Irish center fielder Ben Goelz was at the top of the order and collected 3 hits and a stolen base.
Mahtomedi won their first baseball title and finished the season 20-4 with a 5-1 win over the Rocori Spartans who finished their year 22-6. The Zephyrs had 7 hits and the Spartans 6 hits in the game. There were no errors.
Senior right handed pitcher Austin Jerylo scattered six hits, struck out 4 and walked no batters while throwing 92 pitches to secure the win. Jerylo also contributed at the plate with two hits and an RBI. He was the only Zephyr with multiple hits in the game and hit in the number 7 spot in the order.
#1 seed Minnetonka and #2 Stillwater will finish the Minnesota high school baseball season in the Class AAAA title game Monday at Target Field.