Class 2A 1 p.m.
Minnehaha Academy (25-2) vs. Pierz (26-2)
Why Minnehaha Academy will win: The Redhawks have an offense that can get hot quickly. If they are successful at the plate, the Redhawks could create an insurmountable lead for Pierz. Look for Alex Evenson and fellow seniors Kenny Kiratli and John Goth to come up with big hits. If the Redhawks are in position to win, Bennett Theisen will be a reliable closer.
Why Pierz will win: Preston Rocheleau had a strong outing in the Pioneers’ quarterfinal victory over New London-Spicer, in which he gave up only two runs. But that was below his standards, because he had given up just one run all season before that. If he can dominate against Minnehaha, he will give Pierz a chance. The tall junior has a long stride on the mound that aids a powerful fastball.
Key to watch: Pierz first baseman Brandon Dickmann, who had only eight hits this season before the state tournament, had two key hits in the quarterfinal round. Will he deliver again?
Did you know? Minnehaha Academy is the defending champion. This is Pierz’ second consecutive state tournament appearance. Before this current run, though, the Pioneers hadn’t made a state tournament since 1986.