Little Falls vs.

St. Cloud Cathedral

7 p.m., Thursday, May 23

The last time St. Cloud Cathedral won a Granite Ridge Conference title was in 2015. That also happens to be the last time the Crusaders won a Class 2A state title.

Since that quest to plunder the tourney hardware, the Crusaders have routinely finished near the top of the conference standings, but each season they couldn’t quite reach the summit. This year’s journey may end with more success, especially if Cathedral can find its offense again after suffering two straight defeats.

Before losing 2-1 to Zimmerman in Game 2 of a doubleheader last Tuesday, and following that with a 6-3 defeat to Foley two days later, the Crusaders (13-3, 9-2) had won seven consecutive games. To return to the win column and perhaps claim a league title, they’ll need to get the bats going again. After scoring 6.2 runs per game during the winning streak, they lost their production.

In a 2-1 win over Little Falls on May 13, Shane Corbett, Jackson Jangula and Sam Schneider each clubbed two hits. Jangula has wielded his team’s strongest bat to date, with the senior outfielder hitting .356 with a team-leading 13 RBI.

Little Falls has been streaky this season. The Flyers (8-8, 6-3) won five straight in early May but have three consecutive defeats since — including their loss to Cathedral.

Thomas Kunkel, a senior shortstop, has some pop in his bat and has a wealth of experience, collecting nine varsity letters as a three-sport athlete. He belted a pair of hits and had a RBI in his team’s 11-0 victory over Zimmerman on April 25.