Star Tribune reporters Joe Gunther and Jim Paulsen spent the day at Target Field and sent regular updates about the Class 3A and Class 4A state championship games and the scene around them. Class 3A coverage is from Gunther, Class 4A from Paulsen.

Friday's coverage of the Class 1A and 2A finals is here.

. . .

Class 4A final report: East Ridge 3, Mounds View 2

6:36 p.m.

It's a time-tested baseball axiom: good pitching beats good hitting.

When the Class 4A baseball championship game began Saturday afternoon at Target Field, it looked like that wasn't going to be borne out. By the end, with East Ridge defeating Mounds View 3-2, baseball had rediscovered its balance.

Mounds View pitted 6-7, 94-mph-throwing Tyler Guerin, the reigning Metro Player of the Year and a University of Iowa recruit, against East Ridge senior Max Arlich, who will bring his combination of heat and precision to Texas A&M next year.

Mounds View (20-9) got a pair of runs in the top of the first on two singles and an error. East Ridge (21-6) answered, loading the bases on two hits and getting a run on a sacrifice fly.

Three runs had scored, and it seemed the bases were going to be full all afternoon.

It turned out just the opposite.

Both pitchers settled in, and neither team was able to muster much offense. In the end, situational baseball lifted East Ridge to victory. The Raptors scored a single run in the bottom of the sixth and won it with a run in the bottom of the seventh, neither with the benefit of a hit. They won their second consecutive Class 4A championship.

After restless first innings, both Guerin and Arlich went about dictating play. Arlich, who was the winning pitcher for East Ridge in the final in 2023, retired 16 straight batters after the first-inning runs. He spotted his fastball well and had Mounds View beating his curveball and changeup into the ground.

"Everything was working for me," he said.

For five innings, which included a 2-hour, 3-minute rain delay, Guerin was every bit Arlich's equal. He gave up three hits and walked four, but East Ridge didn't mount a challenge.

Sophomore Andrew Gette relieved Guerin to start the sixth. Raptors right fielder Will Preimesberger coaxed a walk to start the inning. Pinch runner Adrian Thompson stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Luke Skinner.

East Ridge scratched out the game-winner in similar fashion.

After Mounds View's only threat since the first inning was erased on a fly-out, throw-out double play in the seventh, East Ridge catcher Ben Rudser led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. Pinch runner Caden Stern stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored the winner on a wild pitch.

Mounds View coach Nik Anderson said he never questioned replacing Guerin in the sixth.

"Our plan all week was to go with our two stud pitchers," he said. "I'll make that move 10 out of 10 times."

East Ridge coach Brian Sprout said the Raptors' focus on situational baseball — whether it be throwing out a runner or scoring without the benefit of a hit — paid big dividends Saturday against a Suburban East Conference rival.

"We work on [situational baseball} about 60 percent of the time in practice," he said. "And we come from a tough conference. We play good teams all year long. We were ready to play at a high level."

Class 3A final report: Totino-Grace 2, Mahtomedi 1

1:54 p.m.

Tommy Heifort capped off an outstanding baseball state tournament with a pair of strikeouts to give Totino-Grace its first Class 3A baseball state championship.

With just three outs to go and a one-run lead, Heifort was excited about what was on the horizon. He got the first out of the seventh inning on a ground ball that he stopped with his foot. He then picked up his seventh and eighth strikeouts of the game to complete a 2-1 victory over third-seeded Mahtomedi at Target Field.

"I started smiling and getting shaky," Heifort said. "Once it was over, it was one of the greatest feelings ever."

Heifort allowed four hits and one walk while striking out eight in his second complete game of the tournament after shutting out Little Falls in the quarterfinal. He took advantage of the eight days off between starts.

"It was really nice having [rest]," Heifort said. "In sections, I threw in semifinals, then we were going to throw me in the finals, but my arm just hurt so bad. Giving me that extra time helped me out with the confidence knowing that my arm is fine and I can trust myself."

Noah Hill provided the Eagles (19-8) with the only offense they needed with a pair of two-out, run-scoring singles. He got the scoring started in the first inning, bouncing a single between third and short to get Adam Molitor home. Two innings later, he dropped a bloop single in front of Gunnar Sather to score Brayden Morel and extend the lead to 2-0.

"When we scored a run in the first inning, my confidence really shot up after that," Heifort said. "If you give up a run in the first inning, your confidence is going to plummet."

The Zephyrs (22-5) took advantage of their best scoring opportunity in an unconventional way. With runners on the corners and two outs, Heifort had Jacob Reubish picked off first base. Reubish got under the high throw to second and Sather beat the tag at home.

The rest of the day, from just now back to pregame:

We have a Class 4A champion: East Ridge

5:08 p.m.

East Ridge wins 3-2.

A wild pitch by Andrew Gette allowed courtesy runner Caden Stern to score from third base.

Stern was on base in place of Ben Rudser, who walked to lead off the inning.

East Ridge had just three hits but also had six walks in the game.

East Ridge is a repeat champion. The Raptors defeated Rosemount 1-0 in the final last year.

To the bottom of the last we go, tied

5:01 p.m.

Mounds View finally broke through against Max Arlich with a double by Jack Glancey to lead off the seventh. But he was erased on a 7-6-5, fly ball-throw-'em-out double play.

It's 2-2 headed to the bottom of the seventh.

East Ridge rallies to tie score

4:54 p.m.

A Mounds View pitching change to start the sixth stirred the pot just enough for East Ridge. Sophomore Andre Gette came in for Tyler Guerin and walked the first batter he faced, Will Preimesberger. Preimesberger was replaced by sophomore courtesy runner Adrian Thompson. A sacrifice, passed ball and sac fly later, East Ridge has tied the game 2-2.

Mounds View's Arlich retires 13th straight

4:31 p.m.

Max Arlich sets Mounds View down in order, again, in the top of the fifth. He's retired 13 in a row. His breaking balls have the Mustangs beating the ball into the dirt. Nine ground-ball outs.

We are playing once more

4:18 p.m.

Baseball is back at Target Field after a 2-hour, 3-minute rain delay. Two outs in the top of the fourth. Mounds View's Chris Then at the plate. East Ridge's Max Arlich returned to the mound.

Tyler Guerin takes the mound again for Mounds View. He's thrown 64 pitches through three innings, has struck out three, walked three and given up three hits. But just one run. Mounds View's lead remains 2-1.

Restarting time is revealed

3:56 p.m.

Word is we'll resume the Class 4A championship game at 4:20 p.m.

Saturday's delay makes it a sweep. Every decision made about the Class 3A and 4A finals was complicated by weather. The games were scheduled for Monday and delayed by rain. They were rescheduled for Friday, and then more rain shoved them to Saturday, and now they've been delayed again. The Class 1A and 2A teams also dealt with a delay Friday.

There goes the rain. Baseball about to resume

3:35 p.m.

Players are stirring, the grounds crew has come back to life. They're rolling out the blower that attaches to the funnel that connects to the tarp that covers the infield. Baseball is coming.

This news just in: Rain delay

The rain has returned, and we're now in an official rain delay. A storm cell is fast approaching Target Field.

Before things turned wet, East Ridge got a runner on third, but Will Preimesberger was picked off third and tagged out at home following a rundown. Still 2-1 Mounds View in the top of the fourth.

East Ridge's Arlich is standing tall

2:02 p.m.

Max Arlich is dealing for East Ridge. After that initial hiccup in the top of the first, he's retired seven in a row, six on ground balls. Through three, he's thrown only 30 pitches,

Everybody's hitting; Mounds View leads 2-1

1:49 p.m.

After more than a week off, both teams seem eager to swing the bats.

Mounds View's first two hitters singled, were sacrificed to second and both scored on an error by the East Ridge second baseman.

East Ridge responded by loading the bases on a pair of base hits and a walk. The Raptors brought a run home on a sacrifice fly.

After one, Mounds View leads 2-1

Here comes the biggest class

1:22 p.m.

The Class 4A championship game, and the official end to the high school baseball season, is moments away.

It's a terrific, state finals-worthy pitching matchup: Mounds View's Tyler Guerin (headed to Iowa for college) vs. East Ridge's Max Arlich (Texas A&M).

Guerin was the Star Tribune's Metro Player of the Year, and Arlich was second-team All-Metro.

Quick report: Totino-Grace 2, Mahtomedi 1

12:35 p.m.

Tommy Heifort allowed four hits and walked one while striking out eight to give Totino-Grace its first Class 3A baseball state championship.

The fifth-seeded Eagles got a pair of two-out run-scoring singles from Noah Hill for the only offense they needed in a 2-1 victory over third-seeded Mahtomedi at Target Field.

Hill gave the Eagles (19-8) an early 1-0 lead by bouncing a single in the hole between third and short to get Adam Molitor across the plate. Two innings later, he dropped a bloop single in front of Gunnar Sather to score Brayden Morel.

The Zephyrs (22-5) took advantage of their best scoring opportunity in an unconventional way. With runners on the corners and two out, Heifort had Jacob Reubish picked off first base. Reubish got under the high throw to second and Sather beat the tag at home.

Totino-Grace is a champion

12:20 p.m.

Totino-Grace's Tommy Heifort finished a complete game with back-to-back strikeouts.

It's a final: Totino-Grace 2, Mahtomedi 1.

Heifort had to overcome some difficulty. He was hit with a ground ball to start the last inning, and he'd been hit with a pitch previously.

Mahtomedi stole a run to cut the deficit to 2-1. With runners on the corners, Heifort had the runner on first picked off. Matthew Galatzer's throw to second was high, and Gunnar Sather scored from third.

Totino-Grace is three outs away from its first baseball state championship.

Totino-Grace adds to lead

11:12 a.m.

Noah Hill extends Totino-Grace's lead to 2-0 with a bloop two-out single to center. Brayden Morel, who reached on an error leading off the inning, scored from second.

Six K's account for inning No. 2

10:57 p.m.

Neither pitcher needed his defense in the second inning, Tommy Heifort struck out three for Totino-Grace, and Ethan Felling had a three-strikeout perfect inning for Mahtomedi.

Felling took his time getting to the mound between innings, then got the first two batters looking before blowing a pitch past the Eagles' No. 8 hitter.

Already, a Totino-Grace run

10:36 a.m.

Totino-Grace gets on the board with a two-out single to left by Noah Hill. Adam Molitor, who drew a one-out walk, scored from second.

No waiting at Target Field; the 3A game started early

10:30 a.m.

Everybody must have shown up early. The Class 3A game is under way, 30 minutes ahead of its scheduled time.

Totino-Grace's Kellen Westphal swung at and missed the first pitch, but he took the count full before grounding out to the Zephyrs pitcher Ethan Felling to start the game.

After a week of postponements, delays and rescheduled games, starting early sounds just fine.

We checked the forecast: It predicts high-level baseball today

10:15 a.m.

Maybe we need a little rain Saturday at Target Field, just to complete the set.

Mahtomedi and Totino-Grace play for the Class 3A baseball championship starting at 11 a.m., and East Ridge and Mounds View will begin tussling for the Class 4A title 45 minutes after the 3A teams finish.

Unless …

The rain that's at least a threat to arrive about the time that 4A game would start causes a delay. That would make a sweep of this week, with every attempt to play the finals impacted by weather. Friday's Class 2A and 1A finals were separated by 40 minutes more than planned when rain led to the tarp being rolled onto the field. The week began with all four finals scheduled for Monday. It was clear they couldn't be played that day, and the Twins were playing Tuesday through Thursday, so all four games were rescheduled for Friday. And then Thursday the two big-class games were moved to Saturday.

We see a consistent pattern in weather forecasts for Saturday: 60 percent chance of rain in the form of afternoon showers. Given the flooding going on north, south, east and west of Minneapolis, afternoon showers sounds like baseball weather.

Simply put: Play ball, twice.

Championship game schedule and results

Tap on the score for game details


Class 3A: Totino-Grace 2, Mahtomedi 1

Class 4A: East Ridge 3, Mounds View 2


Class 1A: Springfield 5, Parkers Prairie 1

Class 2A: Rockford 6, Foley 0

. . .


Costs range from $8 to $13. Tickets must be purchased online at

. . .


The Neighborhood Sports Network will stream state tournament games. A subscription is required. Link to the streams here.

. . .

More coverage

The Star Tribune will publish stories and other content related to these state championships and more. Keep up by checking Thank you for reading and subscribing.

. . .

Tournament information

* The MSHSL's spectator guide

* Download and print the tournament program

* Star Tribune high school sports page