Temperatures may have plummeted late last week, but Hopkins seems to still be heating up, which has the Royals within striking distance of Wayzata in this year’s Lake Conference championship title race.
Hopkins went 4-1 against Lake opponents in a busy five-day stretch last week. The lone blemish for the Royals (13-5, 6-1) came in a 5-4 loss to Wayzata on May 14. To bounce back, first-place Hopkins beat Minnetonka 6-5 the next day, then edged Edina 5-4 the following day, and capped the week with a 3-0 shutout of Eden Prairie on Friday.
North Dakota State commit Wyatt Nelson has been a great all-around presence for Hopkins this season. At the plate, the senior has a .474 BA with 10 RBI, and he’s stolen 16 bases. From the mound, he’s accumulated 36 strikeouts and a 3.18 ERA in 22 innings pitched. Sophomore Jake Perry has also proven effective, leading the team with 15 RBI and he’s hitting .323.
Though Wayzata beat Hopkins in the first meeting, the Trojans have some kinks to work out if they’re to recover from a two-game skid. They dropped a 5-4 decision to Eden Prairie last Wednesday and followed that with a 5-4 loss to Minnetonka on Friday.
Wayzata (10-7, 5-2) will rely on its top hitter, senior Brennan Albert, to get back in the win column. Albert has a .345 BA, has slugged two homers, six doubles and has 14 RBI. Against Hopkins last week, Albert went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI.