Eagan Bandits qualify for Class B tournament

Local men’s amateur teams are battling this week for places in the Minnesota Baseball Association Class B and Class C tournaments.

The Eagan Bandits played their way in to the Class B tourney after defeating Victoria 10-2 on Tuesday night in the deciding game of a best-of-three Section 3 playoff series. Eagan defeated Victoria in the opener 4-3 last Friday before the Vics evened the series with a 5-3 victory on Sunday.

The series victory sends the Bandits to the state tourney that begins Aug. 16 in Maple Lake, Delano and Dassel.

Local teams still with a chance to advance to the Class B tourney include the Burnsville Bobcats. The Bobcats lost a best-of-three Section 3B series to Chaska, but are one of three teams that will get a second chance through the section’s “Elimination Series.” Burnsville plays host to Prior Lake at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Alimagnet Park, with the winner playing at Victoria on Friday. The winner of Friday’s game advances to the state tournament as the fourth seed from Section 3B.

Three “Pair-Wise Series” winners in Section 3B – Chanhassen, Chaska and Eagan – will play in a “Seeding Series” Saturday at Chanhassen High School. All already clinched berths in the state tournament; Saturday’s games will determine their seeding at state. Eagan plays Chaska at 2 p.m., with that winner facing defending state champion Chanhassen in the second game of the day.

Elko is trying to reach the state tournament for the third consecutive year but will have to do so through what Section 1B calls the “Redemption Round” for the section’s fourth seed. The Express, who lost to Northfield 18-2 and 6-4 in their opening series, play host to Rochester at 8 p.m. Friday at Fredrickson Field. The winner of that game plays at Hampton at 2 p.m. Sunday for a state tourney berth.

The majority of the players on the Elko roster played for local high schools, including Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Farmington, Burnsville and Apple Valley. Most of Hampton’s players are from Apple Valley, Rosemount, Eagan, Burnsville, Farmington and Lakeville, with a heavy concentration of former Eastview High School players.

Sixteen teams will advance to the Class B state tournament that begins Aug. 16 in Maple Lake, Delano and Dassel.

Several players from Apple Valley, Lakeville, Farmington and Burnsville are on the roster of the New Market Muskies, who have clinched a spot in the Class C state tournament. The Muskies are still competing in the Region 3C playoffs but are assured of finishing first or second, and the region’s top four seeds will advance.

New Market will play St. Patrick or St. Benedict on Friday night at a site to be determined (it won’t be New Market because the Muskies’ field doesn’t have lights). If New Market loses, a second game to determine the region championship would be played at 1 p.m. Sunday.

New Market defeated Lonsdale 13-2, Faribault 17-0 and St. Patrick 16-8 in earlier rounds of the double-elimination Region 3C tournament.

Former Lakeville North pitcher Brett Herber has a 1.06 earned-run average in 42 1/3 innings for the Muskies (23-5). Tony Vocca, a Lakeville resident who played at Minnesota State Mankato, has a .506 average, along with a 0.38 ERA in 47 1/3 innings pitched.

Forty-eight teams will go to the state Class C tourney that begins Aug. 17 in Maple Lake, Delano and Dassel.

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