MOUNDS VIEW MUSTANGS vs. ROCORI SPARTANS

4 p.m., Target Field

Mounds View (19-6): The Mustangs have been a favorite to excel since the first pitch of the season. With Max Knutson throwing that pitch, it’s easy to understand why. The hard-throwing lefthander became one of the country’s top pitchers with his standout season that earned him a co-Metro Player of the Year recognition. He will have the ball for the championship game, making the Mustangs an immediate favorite. Mounds View has proved to be much more than Knutson, though. Alec Abercrombie leads off an offense full of weapons. This team has the complete package and has withstood several big tests to get to this point.

Rocori (18-8): The Spartans welcome the label of wild card or dark horse. It has fueled their run through the state tournament and into the championship game. Rocori was its section No. 7 seed and considered to be no threat. Consistency on the defensive end of their game carried the Spartans past each opponent that struggled to do the same. Two solid pitching arms and a defense that’s made only four errors since the start of the playoffs continue to surprise the opposition. Senior leadoff hitter Mac Mueller said he likes the underdog role, especially when playing against the metro area teams.

The call: Mounds View 5-1