New Prague saved its best for last Wednesday, winning in walkoff fashion.
Senior Jake Hemann delivered a two-out, run-scoring single, capping a three-run bottom of the seventh inning as the Trojans rallied for a 6-5 victory over Monticello in the semifinals of the Class 3A baseball state tournament Wednesday at the Mini Met in Jordan.
The Trojans, ranked fourth by the coaches association, are appearing in their third state tournament; they finished second and third in their previous trips.
The Trojans (23-3) pulled within 5-4 on senior Kyle Carlberg's sacrifice fly for the second out of the last inning. They then produced three consecutive hits to pull out the victory. Senior Jackson Sirek singled, senior Jake Lundquist tied it with a double to left field and Hemann followed with his winning hit.
New Prague scored its other three runs in the second inning. The first two scored on errors, and junior Will Seymour had a sacrifice fly. The teams combined to make seven errors.
The Magic (20-4) jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Senior Tyler Bitz had a two-run single, and sophomore Brock Holthaus and senior Hudson Landkammer had RBI hits. Holthaus scored the final run on a dropped fly ball in the fifth.
Mahtomedi 3, Grand Rapids 2: Mahtomedi has the look of a champion, and that look always features a strong pitching staff.
That strength showed Wednesday, when senior Seth Nelson pitched a six-hitter as the Zephyrs held on for a 3-2 victory over Grand Rapids in the semifinals.
The Zephyrs are appearing in their eighth state tournament, all since 2014. They won the state championship in 2018 and 2021.
The Zephyrs (19-6) jumped on losing pitcher Dominic Broberg, a Grand Rapids junior, for two runs in the first inning. Nelson, who struck out six and walked two, helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly, and junior Joshua Donna had an RBI double.
Senior Jacob Johnson made it 3-0 an inning later with a run-scoring single. He went 2-for-2 and scored the game's first run.
The Thunderhawks (17-12) got to Nelson for both of their runs in the fifth inning. The first run scored following an error on a bunt, and sophomore Klous Jones lifted a sacrifice fly to center field for the second run.
Nelson escaped further damage and retired eight of the last 10 batters he faced.
The Zephyrs shut out Byron 3-0 in the quarterfinals.
There will be no repeat in Class 2A.
Perham knocked off defending state champion Fairmont 3-2 in the semifinals at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud. The Yellowjackets are making their 10th state tournament appearance and have never finished higher than second.
Fairmont struck first in the opening inning before the Yellowjackets (22-4) tied it in the third and scored twice in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. The Cardinals (24-3) closed the scoring by getting a run back in their half of the fifth.
Senior catcher Ben Shumansky went 2-for-4 and drove in a run for the Yellowjackets.
Junior Nate Soelter and eighth-grader Josh Soelter each had two hits for the Cardinals.
Esko 7, Cannon Falls 2: Isaak Sertich knows how to deliver a knockout punch.
The junior belted a grand slam to left-center field, capping a six-run fourth inning and propelling No. 1-ranked Esko to victory over Cannon Falls in the semifinals of the Class 2A tournament at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud. The Eskomos are making only their second state tournament appearance, the other coming in 2000.
The Bombers (22-7) struck first in the opening inning, scoring twice on sophomore Jack Meyers' double.
The Eskomos (26-1) cut the deficit in half with a run on a wild pitch in the third inning.
They took command of the game in the next inning. Before Sertich's homer, two runs scored on a two-out throwing error.
Lyle/Pacelli is taking offense to being seeded third.
The Athletics used a six-run inning to defeat New Ulm Cathedral 6-1 in the semifinals of the Class 1A baseball tournament at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud. The Athletics (24-1) are making only their second state tournament appearance, the other coming 40 years ago in 1983, and are seeking their first championship.
The outburst was more than enough support for winning pitcher Isaac Nelsen. He threw a four-hitter with five strikeouts and four walks.
The Athletics' big inning was the third. Senior Jakob Truckenmiller got the scoring started with an RBI single, junior Dane Schara and senior Trey Anderson delivered two-run singles and sophomore Landon Meyer drove in the final run with a bloop double. Truckenmiller and Schara each finished with two hits.
The Greyhounds scored their lone run in the bottom half of the inning on sophomore Jake Finstad's sacrifice fly. They made two of their five errors in the Athletics' half of the inning.
The Athletics were ranked third — higher than any school in the eight-team field — in the final regular-season coaches association poll. The second-seeded Greyhounds (20-6) were ranked fourth, and top-seeded South Ridge was fifth.
The Athletics pulled out a 4-3 victory over Hinckley-Finlayson in the quarterfinals.
Fosston 7, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 5: Fosston finds itself in unfamiliar territory, playing for a state championship.
The Greyhounds manufactured their runs in a semifinals victory in the Class 1A tournament at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud. Fosston has never finished higher than fourth in the state tournament.
Fosston sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring four times. The Greyhounds (23-4) had only two hits in the inning, benefiting from three walks, a hit batter and an error.
They scored their fifth run in the third, when senior Cullen Norland drew a bases-loaded walk.
The Jaguars (14-12) tied it 5-5 before senior Thatcher Palubicki scored the winning run on a groundout in the fifth inning. Fosston added a run on a Jaguars error in the sixth.
Senior Casey Lenarz had a two-run single for the Jaguars. Sophomore teammates Luke Illies and Hayden Sobiech and junior Luke Dingmann also had run-scoring hits.