Duluth Marshall vs. Minnehaha Academy

1 p.m., Saturday, April 20

Duluth Marshall, which finished as runner-up to Maple Lake in the Class 2A state tournament last season, visits Fort Snelling to take on Minnehaha Academy for what should be the Hilltoppers’ first big test of the season — one they hope to pass as they aim to make a third straight trip to state and finally win the tourney hardware.

In an 11-3 victory over Aitkin on April 8, the Hilltoppers (1-0, 0-0) went all Murderers' Row, getting a lot of production from Alex Busick, Charlie Kleinschmidt and Tyler Johnson. The trio produced six hits, six RBI and six runs.

While Duluth Marshall’s bats hope to overcome a cold layoff after being inactive for nearly two weeks, senior pitcher Ben Pedersen is certain to be rested. The Missouri commit is the staff ace and against Aitkin, he threw 5 1/3 innings, gave up three hits and a run while striking out 10.

Pedersen will need to bring his best stuff if he wants to get back on the bus to Duluth with a win against the Redhawks, who won the Class 2A title in 2017 and 2016, while making the last four state tournaments.

Minnehaha Academy (1-1, 0-0) looks to knock off a top competitor after falling short in a 3-2 loss to Maple Lake on April 9. Senior shortstop Noah Dehne smacked a two-run homer in the loss, which proved to be all the offense the Redhawks could muster. Bennett Theisen and Brock Brumley were Dehne’s only teammates to garner hits in the game.