Class A prognosticators evaluate the Class A state tournament

By Nick Gerhardt

Tournament time has finally arrived for Class A and nothing’s entirely certain. We turned to our experts to examine the bracket and illuminate everyone on their thoughts.

Both agreed that defending champion Minnetonka enters the tournament as the favorite, but St. Louis Park came out of the Riverview as the top seed. If anything Class A has seen more parity recently than years past and this tournament has a handful of potential champions. 

Without further ado, let’s see what the experts think will happen. 

Jordan Wiggins — St. Anthony Hogs

The Favorite: I wanted to pick someone other than Minnetonka, but this year’s tournament is so deep with good teams that I’m hard pressed to find someone more likely to take the cup than the Millers. The Millers have a tough first round matchup with Tri-City, who has challenged them a few times in years past. From there, it doesn’t get much easier with a potential matchup with Air Freight (should they beat the Angels) and then they’ll need to beat a hot team coming out of the bottom half of that side of the bracket. The Millers are still my pick as the favorite this year. 

The Dark Horse: Seems like there are a couple of dark horses in the race this year, but none are as dark as Stockmen’s Irish. St. Louis Park came out on top in a tough Riverview League only to be rewarded with playing the Irish as the Skyline No. 4 – tough draw. Teddy Klingsporn has his fair share of state tournament wins over his townball tenure and they have plenty of other tough arms and a great defense to pair with him. They’ll have a tough road facing Park and then the winner of Capitals/Pub, but should they get through that gauntlet, look out. 

The Upset: This hardly seems like an upset, but I will take the Park National No. 3 seeded Lyon’s Pub Warriors over the St. Paul League No. 2 seeded St. Paul Capitals. Both of these teams have proven themselves in the tournament over the years, but I think Pub has maintained its fire power and comes out on top the first weekend. 

Paul Melchior – Minneapolis MudCats

The Favorite: It’s like a broken record, but Minnetonka – who comes in as the No. 2 seed out of the Riverview – has to be in this slot. Despite St. Louis Park’s version of Murderer’s Row, the Millers’ propensity for being in the finals gives them my nod.  

The Dark Horse(s): Virtually every team in this year’s bracket has final weekend potential.  However, Stockmen’s Irish and the St. Paul Hops have to be the best No. 4 seeds I can remember. Excellent hitters and deep pitching staffs.  Either one, or both, could be around on Aug. 22.

The Upset: Hard to consider any win an upset in this field, but it seems like the Hopkins Berries might be ripe to pull one off this Saturday night in St. Anthony.

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