The Lakeville North Panthers scored 7 of their 8 runs over Burnsville Major League draftee Sam Carlson in the first two innings en route to a 8-0 win in the quarterfinals of the Minnesota State High School Class 4A Tournament.

It was a picturesque day at CHS Field in downtown St. Paul.

Panther Head Coach Tony Market told KDHL his team was fired up to face the Seattle Mariners draftee, considered by many to be Minnesota's best high school prospect since Joe Mauer.

Fourth seed Lakeville North split with number five seed Burnsville during the regular season and the teams were Co-Champions of the South Suburban Conference.

The Panthers did not face Carlson in their previous meetings. A 1-0 Lakeville North win and a 10-0 Burnsville win.

Both Carlson and Panther starter, junior Nick Spitt looked nervous to start the game with some control issues.

In the top of the first Burnsville got an infield hit from freshman Max Carlson to start the game and after a fly out he stole second base.

Spitt pitched carefully to Sam Carlson who came into the game with a .493 batting average and 7 home runs, eventually walking him to place runners at the corners with one out.

Spitt got out of the jam though with a couple of fielder's choices to end the top half of the first.

The Panthers started the bottom of the first with speedy lead-off man Michael Dooney taking first after being hit by a pitch with the count 1-2.

Sam Carlson then recorded a strikeout looking to the next batter but in the process there were two wild pitches and Dooney advanced to third base.

Senior catcher Nick Juaire was walked before Spitt smacked an RBI double placing runners at second and third with one out.

Senior Ryan Bastyr was struck out but the catcher dropped the ball and never threw the ball to first so Bastyr reached there safely loading the bases.

The next two Panther batters jumped on first pitch fastballs and got results.

Senior Tyler Fietek hit an RBI single down the right field line and number seven hitter junior Nathaniel Peterson collected a two RBI single.

The inning ended with a double play and the Panthers would have all the runs they would need.

After a walk to start the top of the second inning Spitt did settle down thanks to a double play and a fly out.

The Panther bats picked up right where they left off against Carlson who has been clocked in the mid 90's this season.

Number nine hitter senior Brandon Keeley took and 0-1 outside corner pitch to the opposite field to lead off the second.

Following a pop out sophomore shortstop Gavin Baker hit a grounder to his counterpart for Burnsville and there was an error with Keeley trotting home for the fifth run.

Juaire took a 1-0 elevated fastball and parked it over the right field wall and the Panthers had a 7-0 lead.

Carlson did get a ground out and a strike out to end the inning but his day on the hill was done after two innings with 7 runs scored on five hits.  He had three strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter.

He also had three wild pitches and was saved a wild pitch by his catcher Dan Sandvig which also saved a run at the time.

Burnsville would strand a runner at third base three more times before the game was complete.

Lakeville North got their final run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Spitt led off with a walk.  His courtesy runner sophomore Patrick TImmer would scored on a Fietek stroked double down the left field line.

Spitt was lifted from the game after giving up a single to start the top of the seventh inning.  He threw 97 pitches, 63 for strikes.  Struck out 3 and walked 2 while allowing all 8 of Burnsville's hits.

Senior Sean Flaherty pitched to the next four batters with a walk and two strikeouts and the Panthers had a 8-0 win over their Co-Conference Champs.

Our Northfield Hospital Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Panthers of the game were Spitt, Juaire, Fietek and Peterson.

The Panthers play a red hot Eden Prairie team Noon Friday at CHS Field.

The game will be broadcast on KDHL Radio, 920AM, and Radio Pup beginning 11:50 a.m.

The Eagles lost twice to top seed Wayzata in Lake Conference play during the regular season but had no trouble in a 6-1 win over the Trojans.

That means there will be a new champion crowned in Class 4A because Wayzata was the defending State Champion.

In the other quarterfinal action Thursday #2 seed Forest Lake edged Maple Grove 6-5 and Woodbury upended #3 seed Champlin Park 4-1.

The State Championship game will be Monday at Target Field at 7:00 p.m.

In other opening day action in the Class A, 2A and 3A tournaments.

Class 3A

Top seed Waconia got by Mahtomedi 1-0.

#5 seed Marshall downed #4 seed Red Wing 3-1.

HIbbing outscored #2 seed St. Cloud Tech 9-4.

#3 seed Alexandria Area bested St. Thomas Academy 7-2.

Those games were played at Siebert Field on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus.

Class 2A in St. Cloud

#1 seed Minnehaha Academy beat Warroad 10-5.

#4 seed Maple Lake rolled over #5 seed Rochester Lourdes 11-1.

#2 seed Belle Plaine was defeated by Marshall School, Duluth 8-4.

#3 seed Pierz downed New London-Spicer 6-2.

Class 1A in Jordan

#1 seed Parker's Prairie blanked Pillager 8-0.

#4 seed Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove beat Fosston 11-1.

#2 seed Legacy Christian Academy beat Ely 9-4.

Section One representative Wabasha-Kellogg shut out #3 seed Martin Luther/GHEC-Truman 2-0.

The Class 1A title game at Target Field is 10:00 a.m. Monday.

The Class 2A championship is 1:00 p.m. at Target Field.

The Class 3A last game is 4:00 p.m. at the Twins home field.

Lakeville North Warming Up before Burnsville game at CHS FIeld in St. Paul- photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Lakeville North Warming Up before Burnsville game at CHS FIeld in St. Paul- photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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