Grand Rapids, bearing a storied baseball tradition, pulled off the first upset of the Class 3A baseball state tournament.
Junior lefthander Easton Sjostrand threw a three-hit shutout as Grand Rapids knocked off No. 2-seeded St. Thomas Academy 5-0 in the quarterfinals at the Mini Met in Jordan. Sjostrand struck out four and walked three in his 80-pitch complete game.
"I really like the way Easton threw today," Grand Rapids coach Bill Kinnunen said. "He's been consistent all year. He's a smart kid."
The Thunderhawks (17-10) provided Sjostrand with all the support he needed in the third inning, scoring twice against the Cadets (18-7). They added three insurance runs in the last inning. Sjostrand capped the scoring with an RBI single in the seventh.
Senior Kyle Henke drove in two runs with a run-scoring single and sacrifice fly. Teammate junior Kyler Miller had two hits and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Thunderhawks are making their 21st state tournament appearance and have won two titles (Class 2A in a two-class system in 1978 and 1984) and finished in the top three 10 times. Most recently, they were the Class 3A runner-up to Mahtomedi in 2021 and finished fourth last season.
Mahtomedi 3, Byron 0: Pitching also came to the forefront in the second game of the Class 3A quarterfinals. Zephyrs sophomore Ethan Felling pitched a three-hit shutout against the Bears.
Felling struck out 12 and walked one while throwing 103 pitches in a complete game.
The Zephyrs (18-6) played small ball to score twice in the fourth. The first run scored following an error on a bunt, and senior Charles Barre put down a squeeze bunt for the second run.
Senior Seth Nelson drove in the final run an inning later with a ground-rule double.
New Prague 10, Little Falls 5: Junior Henry Novak drove in four runs with a two-run single and two-run home run as the top-seeded Trojans outscored the Flyers.
Senior Jake Lundquist added two hits and three RBI for the Trojans (22-3). They scored in every inning but the fifth and had two three-run innings.
Monticello 3, Benilde-St. Margaret's 1: Junior Caden King stroked a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning, lifting the Magic (20-3) over the Red Knights.
The Red Knights (16-9) were limited to a single hit by senior Cal Ulven, who struck out five and walked seven.
Class 2A: Defending champ rolls
Senior Evan Kovash doesn't mind pressure situations.
Kovash's run-scoring hit ignited a three-run 12th inning, helping Perham to a 7-4 victory over Foley at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud. He pitched 6⅔ shutout innings to pick up the win.
Junior Gage Aanenson added a sacrifice fly while senior Austin Schmelz capped the inning with a run-scoring single.
The Yellowjackets (23-3) rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie it. The first run scored on an error, and the tying run scored on a passed ball.
Fairmont 10, Belle Plaine 2: The defending state champion Cardinals scored in all but one inning in cruising past the Tigers (18-7).
Winning pitcher Nate Soelter, a junior, doubled and tripled, driving in four runs, to lead the 17-hit barrage for the Cardinals (23-2). He pitched a four-hitter.
Senior Jack Kosbab chipped in with three hits and three RBI. Fairmont had seven players with at least two hits.
Esko 1, St. Agnes 0: Eskomos senior Cale Haugen, the Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year, proved his worth. Haugen threw a two-hit shutout while striking out 12 as Esko blanked St. Agnes.
The Eskomos (25-1) scored the game's lone run on Connor Pearce's RBI in the third inning.
Cannon Falls 2, Holy Family 1: Sophomore Jack Meyers threw a two-hitter as the Bombers edged the Fire.
Senior Elliott Nelson's squeeze bunt in the top of the fifth inning drove in the winning run for the Bombers (22-5). He also had a run-scoring single in the third.
The Fire (18-6) scored their lone run off Meyers in the first inning on junior Jameson Quinn's sacrifice fly.
Class 1A: Top seed loses
The mighty fell.
No. 9 hitter junior Ryan Jensen delivered a two-out, two-run double in the fourth inning, leading Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa to a 2-1 upset victory over top-seeded South Ridge in the quarterfinals of the baseball state tournament Tuesday at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.
The Panthers (22-5) took a 1-0 lead an inning earlier on junior Christian Prestasky's run-scoring single following a pair of Jaguar miscues.
The Jaguars (14-11) struggled to get to the .500 mark this season. They are currently riding a seven-game winning streak.
New Ulm Cathedral 7, Yellow Medicine East 0: Junior Levi Franta and two relievers combined on a two-hit shutout as the Greyhounds blanked the Sting (17-4). Franta worked the first five innings, allowing one hit while striking out seven and walking one.
The Greyhounds were clinging to a 1-0 lead before breaking the game open with six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Junior pinch-hitter Logan Mielke delivered a bases-loaded double in the inning, driving in three.
Senior Kyle Seidl had two hits and scored twice while classmate Carter Haala drove in two runs for the Greyhounds (20-5).
Lyle/Pacelli 4, Hinckley-Finlayson 3: The Athletics took advantage of three Jaguars errors to score three runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Sophomore Logyn Brooks had a two-run single for the Athletics (23-1) in the third. They trailed 3-1 at the time. Junior Dane Schara scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
Senior Maclane Storlie had a two-run single for the Jaguars (13-11).
Fosston 11, Legacy Christian 1: The Greyhounds scored nine runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Junior Hudson Boushee had three hits and three RBI and senior Thomas Simonson had three hits and two RBI for the Greyhounds (22-4).
Winning pitcher senior Zach Theis had two hits and scored three runs. Classmate Cullen Norland added three RBI.
Senior Alex Christian belted a solo home run for the Lions (22-4).