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Top games: Luverne looks to keep hot streak going against Adrian

By Ben Grundhauser, SportsEngine, 05/09/22, 8:00AM CDT


May 16: The Cardinals won their last nine games and look to keep the heat on this week, including in the season's second matchup against the Dragons.

Photo by SportsEngine

We task our reporters with identifying several intriguing games throughout the state to assemble our Top Games of the Week. The matchups are presented in no particular order, and when there are additional games we want to highlight, we’ll include them with brief notes.

Adrian vs. Luverne 

4:30 p.m., Monday, May 16 

There might not be a hotter team in Minnesota than Class 1A’s Luverne. After starting the year 0-4, the Cardinals have rattled off nine straight wins, including a 10-7 victory over Adrian on April 26 and pair of shutout wins in a doubleheader against St. James. In the doubleheader, Conner Connell and Casey Sehr each went the full seven innings on the mound. Connell allowed just two hits while Sehr allowed three for Luverne (9-4, 4-3). 

Luverne’s Sehr will certainly be a handful for Adrian on Monday. Sehr has a team-leading 29 hits, and he has recorded at least four hits in three separate games and at least three hits in six of 13 games played. Sehr also has a team-best 3-0 record on the mound to go along with his 0.90 ERA and 24 strikeouts. 

Sehr has help. Braydon Ripka has provided a steady flow of offense with 17 hits this season while Haden Anderson and Connell each have 13. Connell has also cracked a pair of home runs.

The Dragons (5-4, 4-1) are led by a trio of players with 10 hits this season: Evan Lenz, Dawson Krahling and Quinten Wolf

Hastings vs. Mahtomedi (doubleheader)

3:30 and 5:30 p.m., Friday, May 13

A Hastings team that enters the week without a loss visits defending Class 3A state champion Mahtomedi in this massive Metro East Conference doubleheader on Friday.

The Raiders have outscored opponents 87-24 this season. The team’s pitching, led by Gavin Odman, has been marvelous. With a 4-0 record this season, Odman holds a 1.22 ERA with 12 strikeouts through 23 innings. Alex Hendrickson and Connor Stoffel are also each 3-0 from the mound for Hastings (10-0, 8-0). 

Stoffel and Hendrickson are great two-way players. Stoffel’s smashed 14 hits, just ahead of Hendrickson’s 13, while Jackson Shaffer has 13 hits and eight RBIs, helping the Raiders climb to the top of the Metro East standings. 

Mahtomedi split the regular-season series with Hastings a year ago, including notching a 4-1 victory in mid-May. The Zephyrs, who are ranked No. 1 in the Class 3A coaches' poll released May 5, look to sweep the series this year. To do so, Jordan Hull and Ethan Loss to play key roles in the two games. Sophomore Josh Donna also has the potential for a stellar game for Mahtomedi (8-2, 8-1), which sits in second place the league standings. 

Belle Plaine at Southwest Christian 

6:15 p.m., Monday, May 16

Winners of its last four contests, No. 6-2A Southwest Christian is once again a team to look out for. The Stars went 20-5 last year, and their only stumble this year was a 14-2 defeat to No. 9-3A Hutchinson on April 28. 

The Stars (8-1, 6-1) have two standout pitchers in Cade Wiegert and Ollie Yuhas, who were dynamite last season. Wiegert tallied a 2.16 ERA to go along with 63 strikeouts, while Yuhas posted a 1.75 ERA through 20 innings, striking out 44 batters.

Belle Plaine has lost six of its last eight games but has strong hitters who can turn around the team's fortunes with the swing of a bat. Ted Hohn’s 11 hits leads the team while Jack Kruger has 10.

Kruger also has 40 strikeouts on the year through 17 and two-thirds innings on the mound for the Tigers (4-6, 3-4).

Other games to keep an eye on

Foley at Zimmerman, 5 p.m., Thursday, May 12:  Foley (10-0, 8-0) is No. 1 in the Class 1A rankings but had to eke out a 7-5 win over Granite Ridge Conference rival Zimmerman on April 19. Zimmerman's Eli Nelson and Matt Freeberg each recorded two hits in the loss. This time, the Thunder (7-4, 5-3) host and could rely on Freeberg, who is 3-0 on the mound, to turn the tables.

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The MN Baseball Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only. 

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