Warriors face hot Hornets in opener
When the Section 8-3A tournament opens Monday, the Brainerd Warriors will face an opponent that has generated a head of steam.
The Big Lake Hornets are seeded 10th in the tournament but ended the regular season with five straight wins. They carry a 10-9 mark into Monday’s noon game at the Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Cloud against the seventh-seeded Warriors.
Jake Neidenfeuhr leads Big Lake with a .350 average, followed by Austin Madsen .344.
Neidenfeuhr is also the Hornets’ top pitcher with a 4-2 mark and 2.92 ERA in 48 innings. Jake Geroux is 4-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 42.1 innings. Sam Dokkebakken is 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in 19.2 innings.
Brainerd’s top hitters are Mitch McLain .453, Drew Sannes .426, Blake Thiesse .349 and Dalton Tibbetts .308.
On the mound, Blake Peterson is 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA, Sannes is 3-4 and 2.68, Luke Patron is 3-1 and 1.86 and Luke Boran 1-1 and 2.00.
The Brainerd/Big Lake winner will play No. 2 St. Cloud Apollo at St. Cloud at 3 p.m.
In Monday’s other games, No. 9 Moorhead plays No. 8 Sauk Rapids at noon at Bemidji with the winner facing the top-seeded Lumberjacks at 3 p.m.
At St. Michael, No. 5 Alexandria meets No. 12 St. Cloud Tech at noon. The winner plays No. 4 St. Michael-Albertville at 3 p.m.
At Cold Spring, No. 6 Rocori plays No. 11 Sartell at noon. The winner meets No. 3 Rocori at 3 p.m.
The tournament becomes double elimination June 2 at St. Cloud with two games at noon and two more at 3 p.m.
A losers’ bracket game is at 3 p.m. June 5 followed by the championship at 7 p.m. at St. Cloud.
A final game, if necessary, is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 6 at St. Cloud.