Games to Watch: Section 1B foes meet for an early test of who will be the best

By Nick Gerhardt

Scoremonster Contributor

news@mnbaseball.org

Teams have returned to the fields, the bat is finding the ball and the days are getting longer. Town ball is getting back into full swing this week and so are the pivotal early meetings for some teams. 

League play will heat up, as well region and section games. This week we focus on some premier matchups between Section 1B teams, which have had great battles with four teams previously vying for two spots at state. Last season expanded to four teams earning spots at state with Elko, Dundas, Northfield and Miesville playing at the Class B state tournament. They’ll all try to get return trips but they also will meet for the first time this week. Elko faces Dundas while Northfield squares off with Miesville.

If you’ve got a big game coming up, let us know on Twitter @MinnBaseball, Facebook or email at news@mnbaseball.org. Let us know of any schedule changes, too, so we can keep up-to-date on the upcoming games.

Friday, May 18

Dundas at Elko, 7:30 p.m.

The Section 1B rivals renew a rivalry that has cemented itself as one of the best around in the last five years in Elko.

The Dukes (6-0, 1-0 Section 1B) started the season ranked No. 4 in Class B and have lived up to that ranking. Dundas owns some impressive wins in that stretch, including an 11-4 season-opening win over Hampton, which has moved to Class B this season after a state trip in Class C last season, a 4-2 win over last year’s Class A runner-up St. Louis Park and a solid 6-2 win over Champlin.

Carson Jones is 5-for-10 with a home run and eight RBIs through two games. Mick Dudero has seen the bulk of the starts for Dundas and is 3-0 with 2.00 ERA in 18 innings.

Elko, which started the year ranked No. 9 in Class B, has gotten off to a 2-4 start but have perhaps started to gain some momentum following a 4-1 win over Eagan Wednesday.

TJ Evanson went 2-for-5 with three RBIs against the Prior Lake Mudcats April 29 in a 12-8 loss.

Stockmen’s vs. Rosetown A’s, 7 p.m.

Stockmen’s gets the season started this week with a pair of games and they’ll get a good test with Rosetown Friday. The Irish fell to Minnetonka 8-2 in last year’s Class A state tournament in the winner’s bracket. St. Louis Park bounced Stockmen’s in the loser’s bracket 3-1.

Rosetown will also play in just its second game when it squares off with Stockmen’s in South St. Paul. The A’s almost advanced to the championship game of the Class A state tournament last year before Minnetonka bounced them 5-3 in the game to go to the championship. Rosetown’s run ran out in a 27-2 loss to St. Louis Park in the loser’s bracket.

Saturday, May 19

Green Isle at Carver, 2 p.m.

Green Isle (3-0, 1-0 Crow River South) get a big matchup early with league rival Carver Friday in Carver with both teams coming in ranked in the top 10 in Class C.

The No. 9 Irish have sprinted to three victories, including 27-1 season-opening thumping of Dassel-Cokato. Green Isle also has a 14-2 win over St. Bonifacius and a 7-4 win over Montrose-Waverly.

Carver won the regular season meetings by a 3-2 score each time but the Irish won 6-1 and 9-8 in the playoffs. Kimball knocked out Green Isle in a 7-0 win at the state tournament.

The No. 10 Black Sox, after dropping their season opener 7-5 to Baseball 365, have won their last two games. Carver beat New Germany 11-0 May 6 and Glencoe 10-0 May 13.

Mark Ulrich had three hits and three RBIs for the Black Sox against Glencoe. He also struck out six and helped limit the Brewers to five hits. Ulrich is 2-0 on the mound with a .6 ERA in 15 innings and 22 strikeouts in 15 innings.

Cold Spring at Minnetonka, 2 p.m.

Sixth-ranked Cold Spring has gotten off to a 2-0 start behind a 6-4 win over Raymond and a 4-0 win over St. Joseph. The Springers will get a really tough test against Minnetonka, the winner of the last three consecutive Class A state titles.

The Millers are off to a 2-0 start after beating the Minneapolis River Rats May 11 and the Minneapolis Patriots 11-1 May 12. Ben Fasnacht had two hits and two RBI against the Patriots. Augie Erdall threw a no-hitter against the River Rats while Zack Trygstad went 4-for-4 in the game.

Sunday, May 20

Miesville at Northfield, 2 p.m.

Top-ranked and two-time defending Class B state champion Miesville rolls into its first game of the season where they’ll face Northfield in Northfield.

The two Classic Cannon Valley League foes met at last year’s state tournament where the Mudhens outlasted the Knights 8-5 to advance. Northfield got sent to the loser’s bracket to face another CCVL rival Dundas and came away with a 4-3 win. But the Knights fell to Moorhead 5-2 in an elimination game. The No. 5-ranked Knights have won both of their games this season, a 7-5 victory over Hampton May 6 and a 15-3 throttling of Hastings May 13.

Miesville meanwhile defeated the Brewers 6-3 and claimed the title after a pair of wins over Chanhassen.

Crookston at Bemidji, 1:30 p.m.

Bemidji came a game shy from advancing to last year’s Class C championship and get a test from Crookston, who also made the state tournament last season. The Reds fell 15-1 to Buffalo in their only game in the state tournament.

The Blue Ox open the season a night before against Park Rapids as the No. 4-ranked team in Class C after bowing out against Kimball 3-0 in last year’s semifinal.

Crookston lost its opener 7-5 to Midway with Matt Morin going 3-for-5 with an RBI and Tanner Reinhart knocking in two runs. Bailey Schmitz scored a pair of runs and went 2-for-3. Sean Minder allowed three hits in seven innings.

Plato at Carver, 2 p.m.

Plato got a tough draw to start last year’s state tournament and fell 5-0 to Sobieski in its only game there but the Bluejays have started this season 2-0. Plato beat St. Boni 13-0 and Winstead 4-2 thus far but get another state tournament entrant with Carver May 20.

Adam Prehn knocked in three runs against St. Boni with a 2-for-4 game. Chris Odegaard went 3-for-4 with two runs and Mitchell Boesche finished 2-for-4 with three runs.

The Bluejays broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth to beat Winstead behind just three hits. Plato did draw six walks while Prehn, Nolan Lepel and Tyler Lang provide the RBIs.

Plato defeated Carver in both meetings last season, each time delivering a shutout.

Chanhassen at St. Michael, 5 p.m.

Last year’s Class B runner-up Chanhassen seems poised to get back there following a 2-0 start. The No. 2 Red Birds beat Forest Lake 7-5 May 6 and Jordan 4-1 May 13.

John Eischens got the win for Chanhassen against Jordan and Myles Nablo picked up the save.

St. Michael missed out on last year’s Class B state tournament despite making a lengthy run in 2016. That 2016 knocked off some stalwarts in defeating Dundas and Moorhead before falling to Chaska in the loser’s bracket. Shakopee sent the Knights there with a 6-4 victory. But St. Michael will open this year against another power in Chanhassen and try to get back to the state tournament.

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