Defending champion St. Cloud Cathedral has a distinct advantage. Under Bob Karn, now in his 42nd season as head coach, the Crusaders have won seven state championships, four in the past 11 years. Cathedral plays its home games at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex, which houses Dick Putz and Joe Faber fields, where the first two rounds of the tournament will be played.
Cannon Falls' first state tournament appearance since 1997 will be a nice salve after a difficult offseason for coach Bucky Lindow. Lindow's home burned down in January. Luckily, his entire family escaped unharmed. The Lindows are rebuilding and are expected to move in to their new house in late summer.
Big Ten talent
This might be one of the last chances for Minnesota baseball fans to check out talented Holy Family Catholic pitcher Kasey Ralston. With a fastball in the low 90s and a biting slider, Ralston has complied a 7-0 record with a 0.67 ERA and 93 strikeouts for the Victoria-based school. He is equally adept at the plate, hitting .365 with six home runs and 32 RBI. Ralston has signed to play for Indiana next year.