The regular season is quickly drawing to a close and time’s running out on teams eyeing conference championships before prepping for postseason runs. Maple Grove is one of four teams — along with Andover, Centennial and Rogers — in the Northwest Suburban Conference starting the week with three league losses. The school they’re all chasing is Champlin Park, which has just one league loss to date.
Maple Grove, ranked No. 10 in the Class 4A coaches’ poll from May 13, has won four consecutive games, including a 6-1 triumph over Monticello last Friday. Hunter Gerber had a hit and two RBIs for the Crimson (10-4, 7-3) in the victory and Mason South chipped in two hits.
Scoring against Champlin Park, however, may not be easy for Maple Grove, which is averaging 6.3 runs per game this spring.
The No. 4-4A Rebels, who are on a bit of a skid having lost four of their last six games, have given up double-digit runs just once this season. Champlin Park (11-5, 9-1) allows just shy of 2.9 runs a game and has lost its last two contests by just three runs combined.
One of those defeats came on May 13, when Champlin Park had a 3-2 setback to Edina. For the Rebels offense to catch up with its pitching and defense, top hitters like Cam Hammonds and Tanner Thompson will be relied upon for production. The two combined for just two hits and one run scored in the loss to Edina.