The Loretto Larks will play a do-or-die game against the Howard Lake Orphans on Friday, Aug. 14. The winner earns a ticket to the Class C state tournament and the loser sees its season come to an end. The game will begin at 6 p.m. in Maple Lake.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In this week's print edition of the Crow River News, a note was printed about the Loretto Larks having a chance to qualify for the Class C state tournament in a game that was to be played Wednesday night, after the press deadline but before the issue went out. Readers were directed to this website to find out what happened. That Wednesday game was postponed to Friday, Aug. 14, due to rain. The game will be played at Maple Lake starting at 6 p.m. The story below has been updated from the print edition.

The Loretto Larks town ball team isone win away from a trip to the Class C state tournament. The Larks are due to face the Howard Lake Orphans on Friday night, Aug. 14, at Maple Lake, with the winner earning a berth to state and the loser having its season come to an end. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Larks are seeking their first visit to the big tournament since 2016.

The Larks got to their do-or-die game in the Region 12C tournament by winning a first round contest against the Hutchinson Huskies (5-2 on Aug. 7) before dropping a 10-8 decision against the Delano Athletics in the semifinals on Aug. 8. Delano clinched one of the berths available to Region 12C teams by advancing to the winner’s bracket final. The Buffalo Bulldogs also clinched a state berth on the opening weekend of the tournament.

The fourth and final state berth will be played for by Hutchinson and the Maple Lake Lakers on Thursday. The qualifying teams will continue to play this weekend to determine state seeding, but the main task of qualifying will be behind them.

There has been a last-minute change to the venue for the state tournament. Original slated to be played in New Ulm and Springfield, the New Ulm City Council voted last month to withdraw as co-host due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Minnesota Baseball Association board met on July 27 to decide on a new plan. Springfield will now share hosting duties for the Class C event with Millroy. Shakopee was selected to host the entirety of the Class B tournament. Shakopee was a co-host of the 2018 Class B and C tournaments.

Devils knocked out, Saints face steep challenge

On Aug. 8, the Rogers Red Devils were swept out the Region 11C tournament with consecutive losses to the Sartell Muskies (7-3) and St. Joseph Joes (14-5). Rogers ends its shortened 2020 season with a record of 7 wins and 10 losses.

The local Class B squad, the St. Michael Saints, was set to begin its series in the Section 4B tournament on Wednesday. Section 4B is coterminous with the Saints’ regular season circuit, the Metro Minny League.

The Saints finished at the bottom of the Metro Minny table with a 1-12 record, and so will have to pull a major upset over the regular-season champion Blaine Fusion (13-1) in a best of three series to reach the Class B state tournament. Game one was played Wednesday in Blaine with game two to follow in St. Michael on Friday. The third game, if needed, will be played Saturday in Blaine, State times are to be determined.

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