These Tomahawk Conference foes renew their rivalry after splitting a regular-season doubleheader last April, months before each made Class 1A state tournament appearances.
Landon Strong hit .250 in last year’s state tourney, helping Sleepy Eye (1-0, 0-0) finish as runner-up to Heritage Christian Academy, and he was again impressive at the plate in the Indians’ 5-1 season-opening win over Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove on Friday, finishing with three hits and three runs.
That type of performance could be trouble for a Wabasso team struggling with its pitching, losing 10-0 to Murray County Central 10-0 and 15-1 to New Ulm Cathedral last week.
If the Rabbits (0-2, 0-1) want to get into the win column and defeat a league foe, they need someone to fill the role left empty by the graduation of Nick Altermatt, who was the staff ace a year ago and threw 13 scoreless innings in the section playoffs.
Until that happens, the Rabbits' bats must heat up, and Lance Wagner could be the spark. He's back for his junior campaign after going 2-for-4 and stealing a base in his state tournament appearance a season ago.