A Return to the State Tourney for the Panthers Baseball Team

South Ridge will play #2 seed New York Mills on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in the Class A quarterfinals.

CULVER, Minn. – Last year, the South Ridge baseball team made history, finally winning the Section 7A title and making it to state for the first time in program history. Now, they’re looking forward to going back.

The Panthers dominated Ely in the second game of the 7A championship to earn back to back trips to state. After finally making it last year and only losing one senior, this group was hungry to make it back.

“It’s probably the best way to go out, not a lot of people can say that they went out like this. It was really cool and made us hungry to get back there,” said catcher Joe Janke.

“Compared to last year, we kind of got over the hump after being in the finals many years in a row. This year, just losing one senior, we wanted to get to state like anybody but we knew we had a good group and it was a little bit of a relief for me as a coach to punch the ticket and get to state,” head coach Tyler Olin said.

After falling in the first game of last week’s section championships, South Ridge stormed back to get the 9–0 win to head back to state. How well they bounced back gives the Panthers confidence heading into the tournament.

“I think it gives us a ton of confidence but it also shows how much depth we have as a team. We have so many pitchers and so many guys that can play different spots that we have a really deep team to go two games if we need to,” third baseman Elias Tuominen said.

“Our hitting has been something we’ve been really focused on all year. It’s been fun to watch the guys at the plate. 1 through 9, whether it’s one of our seniors or one of our freshmen towards the bottom of our lineup, lots of different guys have been coming up with big hits for us throughout the year,” said Olin.

South Ridge will play #2 seed New York Mills on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in the Class A quarterfinals. That game will take place at the Mini Met in Jordan, MN.

Categories: High School, Sports