Champlin Park vs.

Maple Grove

4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 26

Maple Grove and Champlin Park carried their Northwest Suburban Conference rivalry into the Class 4A state tournament a year ago, when the Crimson defeated the Rebels 4-2 in consolation play.

This season, the contention remains while both squads unleash revamped lineups looking to prove something early.

Champlin Park (1-0, 1-0) returns just three starters from its everyday lineup. Newcomer Noah Christianson, however, felt right at home uncorking a run-scoring single and double in a 5-3 win over Elk River in the season opener on Saturday.

The Rebels also return strong arms. Max Loven and Michael Ulland combined to strike out 59 batters in 62.2 innings with a 0.72 ERA last year.

They will face a Crimson cast missing its first four hitters from their state tournament lineup, but among the remaining give is Jerome Gooley, who will likely provide stability in the middle of the order.

In the 18 games logged to the MN Baseball Hub last season, Gooley hit .366.

He also was effective on the mound, pitching 12.1 innings with a 2.84 ERA.