|Prep Championship Series Recap
Four baseball championships were claimed over two days of competition during the 2018 Minnesota State High School League’s Prep Baseball Championship Series. Weather-related delays limited Championship Saturday to just three games on Saturday, June 16.
Heritage Christian Academy won the Class A championship in its first state tournament appearance while Maple Lake captured the Class AA crown. In Class AAA, Mahtomedi was making its fifth consecutive state tournament appearance, a run that ended with a state championship.
The Class AAAA championship game was played on Monday, June 18. In the final game of the 2018 season, Stillwater Area topped Minnetonka 4-0 to end the year on a 20-game winning streak.
Here is a look at the tournament:
Heritage Christian Academy, the top seed in the Class A field, rode the bat and arm of senior right-hander Seth Halvorsen to defeat No. 2 Sleepy Eye 8-0 to claim the championship in its first state tournament appearance.
Just more than a week after being drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 30th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, Halvorsen became the fifth player in MSHSL history to hit two home runs in a state tournament game. He was also the winning pitcher after striking out 16 in the seven-inning shutout. He struck out the final six batters that he faced.
Halvorsen, a University of Missouri recruit, was 3 for 3 with a walk, a stolen base and two home runs to power the Eagles (23-3) from the leadoff spot. He was 2-0 across nine shutout innings in his two state tournament appearances. He struck out 21 and allowed just five hits. He finished his senior season with 117 strikeouts in 52 innings and compiled an 8-1 record.
Second-seeded Maple Lake (25-2) concluded its 2018 season on a 17-game winning streak with an 8-4 win over No. 1 Marshall School, Duluth (23-5) in the Class AA championship game at Target Field. It was the fourth state championship of the 2017-18 academic year for Maple Lake. The volleyball team won a Class AA championship in the fall, and just more than a week earlier, the softball team won the Class AA crown. Last month, Maple Lake’s girls track and field team won the Class A True Team championship.
The baseball crown is the first for Maple Lake in its third state appearance. Last season, the Irish placed third.
After trailing 3-1 after two innings, the Irish rallied with a four-run third inning and three more in the fourth for an 8-3 lead. Senior pitcher Grant Mergen hit the go-ahead, two-run single to right center in the third inning and was 2 for 4 at the plate with three RBIs. He also went the distance on the mound, allowing four runs (two earned) with five strikeouts.
Junior center fielder Ben Goelz, was 3 for 3 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base, and senior shortstop Cole Trager was 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI.
Mahtomedi made its fifth consecutive appearance in the baseball state tournament a memorable one by capturing its first championship following a 5-1 victory over Rocori in the Class AAA title game. The top-seeded Zephyrs (20-4) ended the season on a 10-game winning streak. Mahtomedi was the Class AAA runner-up in 2016 to Henry Sibley.
The Zephyrs scored two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to pull away in a game that they led 1-0 after four innings. Senior right handed starting pitcher Austin Jerylo was solid in keeping the Spartans bats quiet as he located well to induce soft contact throughout. He went the distance, scattering six hits, just one run with no walks and four strikeouts. He was strong early, stranding a one-out double to the left field corner in the first inning by retiring the next 13 batters he faced. Jerylo also was 2 for 3 at the plate, driving in the final run for added insurance in the bottom of the sixth inning.
With a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning, it was senior second baseman Sam Lapadat who provided the spark, lacing an RBI triple into the right field corner with one out. Jerylo and Lapadat provided the punch from the 7-8 spots in the Zephyrs’ lineup.
The Spartans’ offense produced four doubles on the night with junior left fielder Brady Klehr providing the lone two-hit game, going 2 for 3 with one of the team’s doubles.
In the fifth inning, it was Rocori (22-6) that looked to tie the score with back-to-back doubles by senior designated hitter Reed Ruegemer and sophomore shortstop Jack Steil, but the Zephyrs cut the tying run down at the plate to keep the lead intact.
Rocori senior right-handed pitcher Mason Primus was solid in the middle innings, retiring 10 consecutive Zephyrs’ batters after allowing a run in the second until the first out of the fifth.
Stillwater Area finished the season on a 20-game winning streak, a spree that ended with a 4-0 victory over Minnetonka in the Class AAAA championship game on Monday, June 18 at Target Field.
It was the second state championship for the No. 2 seed Ponies (24-3). The other came in 1991 when Stillwater captured the Class AA title. Junior left-handed pitcher Andrew Gilbert was a dominant force on the mound by recording 15 strikeouts in shutting out the No. 1 seed Skippers (22-5).
He struck out the first six batters of the game to set the tone, and he later notched his 15th strikeout for the final out to secure the Ponies’ title. He allowed three hits and two walks in the shutout victory. He recorded at least two strikeouts in five of the innings and struck out the side three times.
He entered the state tournament with a 6-1 record and 75 strikeouts in 42 innings with a 0.50 earned run average. Gilbert pitched in two games during the tournament, striking out 25 strikeouts across 13 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs.
The Ponies snapped a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning with two outs. Although senior shortstop Matthew McGinley was 0 for 2 with a walk in the game, he factored into both runs in the inning as he beat out a double play for an RBI fielder’s choice grounder to short and then caused a baseline disruption and a failed pickoff attempt at first base that allowed sophomore teammate Jonathan Koehn to score from third.
|Clay Target State Tournament Recao
St. Michael-Albertville became the first program to win multiple team championships, and an unprecedented five-way finish for the individual crown occurred when the 2018 Minnesota State High School League’s Clay Target State Tournament took place on Friday, June 22 at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake.
Nearly 300 participants, including 54 that qualified in both the team and individual portions of the state tournament, competed in the event held annually since 2014. Approximately 31,400 clay targets were used during the daylong event.
Here is a look at the tournament:
St. Michael-Albertville became the first repeat champion in the five years of the tournament by recording a score of 491. New Prague and Park Rapids both had scores of 485 in the chase for runner-up honors, but New Prague won the tiebreaker with a high-gun score of 100 compared to 99 for Park Rapids.
Scoring for the victorious Knights were senior Lane Berning (100), senior Garrett Mourning (99), senior Kyle Dupont (99), sophomore William Rahne (99), and junior Jake Borgen (94). Berning was one of three competitors that scored a 100 during the team competition.
New Prague had the other two competitors that hit all 100 targets during the team event. Senior Leevi Chandler and junior Woodrow Glazer, the individual champion in 2017, spurred the Trojans to the runner-up finish with scores of 100. Other New Prague teammates to score were senior Nicholas Wegner (97), senior Rieley Kilian (96), and senior Conner Greff (92).
Scoring for Park Rapids were junior Cole Girtz (99), senior Ean Voigt (99), senior Blake Johnson (98), junior Jack Hensel (97) and junior Sally Yliniemi (92).
Later in the individual competition, there was a five-way tie for the championship and a three-way tie for sixth place. The top eight finishers early medals and are selected to the Mills Fleet Farm Top-Gun All-State Team.
In no previous MSHSL Clay Target State Tournament had more than two competitors tie for championship honors with a score of 100. This season, there were five. New Prague junior Woodrow Glazer won a state title for the second consecutive season. He is the first multi-year champion.
Joining him on the winner’s stand were St. Michael-Albertville seniors Garrett Mourning and Kyle Dupont, Tri-City United junior Kyle Sladek, and Annandale freshman Jake Mader. Typically, ties are broken with a reverse-run criteria, but that wasn’t applicable because each competitor hit all of their targets.
Behind them was a three-way tie for sixth-place at 99 between Alexandria Area senior C.J. Schlosser, Alexandria Area freshman Erik Knight and Truman senior Zach Jahnz.
This is the fifth year of the Clay Target State Tournament. In 2012, the Minnesota State High School League became the first high school activities association in the nation to provide support and recognition for Clay Target. The first tournament was held in 2014. In 2018, there were more than 12,000 participants representing 349 high school teams. They are coached and supported by more than 4,000 volunteers.
For complete results of the 2018 Minnesota State High School League’s Clay Target State Tournament, go to www.claytargetleaderboard.com
With the conclusion of the Clay Target State Tournament, the Minnesota State High School League’s schedule of events for the 2017-18 school year is complete.
|State Lacrosse Tournament
Apple Valley girls win first title; Prior Lake boys earn second championship
The Apple Valley girls won their first championship after the three-time defending champions from Eden Prairie 11-10.
It started as a game of streaks with Apple Valley coming out with momentum taking an early 2-0 lead over Eden Prairie. Eden Prairie then found its way to net for three consecutive goals and tooik the 3-2 lead. It was up to Molly Moynihan, the senior midfielder from Apple Valley, to turn the game and get the Apple Valley Eagles back on top. After being down 6-3 with just under 6 minutes remaining in the half, the Eden Prairie Eagles were able to net three, two from sophomore midfielder Maggie Brown, to tie the game at 6-6.
The halftime break gave Apple Valley some steam and the Eagles netted their first goal of the second half in just 33 seconds by senior forward Emma Vogelgesang followed by another goal from Moynihan for an 8-6 lead. Eden Prairie’s Brown added another shortly after with Apple Valley’s senior midfielder Reagan Roelofs getting her third of the game. The Eden Prairie Eagles started their streak again to tie the game with under 10 remaining in the game with Brown’s fourth goal giving the Eden Prairie Eagles the lead at 10-9 with 7 minutes to play. Scoring dissipated after that with both teams playing strong defense. It a full three minutes of play before Apple Valley’s Vogelgesang tied the game at 10-10. The game-winning goal came with just 72 seconds remaining from senior forward Sophie Leong for a score of 11-10.
Scoring leaders for Apple Valley were Moynihan with 3 goals and Roelofs with 3 goals and 1 assist.
Scoring leaders for Eden Prairie for Brown with 4 goals and 1 assist, and junior midfielder Brooke Lewis with 2 goals and 1 assist.
The Blake School of Minneapolis defeated Lakeville North 15-10 in the third-place game and Minnehaha Academy of Minneapolis beat Blaine 17-13 in the consolation final.
On the boys’ side, the Lakers of Prior Lake won their second championship in their third appearance. They defeated Benilde-St. Margaret’s of St. Louis Park 10-8 in the title game. The Lakers, who placed sixth in 2017, won their first title in 2016.
Prior Lake found the back of the net in the first minute of the game to take a 1-0 lead. Goals were then traded back and forth between the Red Knights and Lakers for a score of 4-3 in favor of the Lakers at the end of the first quarter. Things remained in favor of the Lakers in the second quarter, as they scored the only two goals.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s found some steam after the break and tied the game at 6-6 at the half with goals from three individual players.
The last quarter turned out to be a great show. Benilde-St. Margaret’s took the 7-6 lead with 38 seconds into the quarter and not soon after the Lakers’ streak began. Prior Lake tallied three consecutive goals gaining a two-goal lead over the Red Knights with minutes remaining. It was at the 7:09 minute mark that the Red Knights scored their last goal of the game getting the total to 9-8.
Scoring leaders for Benilde-St. Margaret’s were senior midfielder Jerome Newhouse with 2 goals and Quinn Ehlen with 2 goals and 1 assist. Senior attacker Alex Rejda paced Prior Lake with 4 goals and junior attacker Benjamin Jung added 2 goals and 2 assists.
Minnetonka went home with the third-place hardware after posting a 14-7 victory over Mahtomedi. In the consolation final, Wayzata defeated the defending champions from Eagan 17-16.
|Spring Calendar Update
The end of the Spring season is one of the busiest times on the MSHSL Calendar. Here is a quick listing of the events happening over the next few weeks.
State Tournament: June 1 & 2 at Coon Rapids H.S.
CI Brackets PI Brackets
State Tournament: June 5 - 8 at AA- Baseline and A- Read-Sweatt
State Brackets Section Brackets
State Tournament: June 7 & 8 at Caswell Park, N. Mankato
State Brackets Section Brackets
Boys and Girls Track and Field
State Tournament: June 8 & 9 at Hamline University, St. Paul
TENTATIVE State Meet Schedule
Boys and Girls Golf
State Tournament: June 12 & 13. AAA - Bunker Hills, AA - Ridges at Sand Creek, A - Pebble Creek
Section Scores and Results
Boys and Girls Lacrosse
State Tournament: June 12, 14, & 16 at Minnetonka H.S. and Chanhassen H.S.
State Brackets: Boys Girls Section Brackets: Boys Girls
State Tournament: June 14, 15, 16 at Various Sites, Championships at Target Field
State Brackets Section Brackets
State Tournament: June 22 at Minneapolis Gun Club, Prior Lake
|Vaulting From Mounds View To Finland
|Posted by John Millea(email@example.com)- Updated 6/20/2018 1:05:31 PM
|One of the most dominant high school athletes in Minnesota, who has been previously profiled on John’s Journal, made a splash on the national scene over the weekend and is now headed to an international competition.
Julia Fixsen, who will be a senior at Mounds View High School in the fall, has had quite a spring in the pole vault. She broke the girls state record in an early-season indoor meet with a distance of 13 feet, 9 inches and then topped that mark with a height of 13-9 ¼ earlier this month in winning the Class 2A state title for the second year in a row.
Julia competed Sunday at the USA Track & Field Junior Outdoor Championships in Bloomington, Indiana, and she once again extended her state record by clearing 13-11 1/4 while placing second. The athletes who finished first and third were collegians from Virginia Tech and Michigan State who are two years older than Julia.
Her high finish earned her a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the world junior championships July 10-15 in Tampere, Finland (the event is officially known as the International Association of Athletics Federation World U20 Championships).
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|Great Teams (With A Turf Assist) Get The Job Done
|Posted by John Millea(firstname.lastname@example.org)- Updated 6/18/2018 7:47:07 PM
|Championship games in the state baseball tournament were whipsawed by the weather, turning what was scheduled to be a one-day festival at Target Field into a double-rain-delayed slate of four games held in separate sessions two days apart. Such is life with spring sports in Minnesota, as least this year.
The baseball teams that met Monday afternoon in the final game of the season -- from Minnetonka and Stillwater in Class 4A – were like every other spring sports team in 2018 … snowed out and frozen out early in the season. But the Skippers and Ponies were able to take advantage of something that many schools don’t have: artificial turf.
Stillwater capped the season with a 4-0 victory Monday in a game that was rescheduled after rain on Saturday pushed back the start of play for nearly four and a half hours. The Class 1A, 2A and 3A games were completed Saturday.
The weather wasn’t perfect Monday, either, with rain delaying...
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