Tigers play for the title at Target Field

Farmington shortstop Kyle Hrncir throws to first base to complete a double play in a state Class 4A quarterfinal baseball game against Mounds View on Tuesday in Chaska. The Tigers defeated Mounds View 1-0 and Minnetonka 3-2 to reach the championship game. They will play Park of Cottage Grove at 7 p.m. Friday at Target Field.

Class 4A final will produce a first-time baseball champion

A first-time state champion is guaranteed in Friday night’s Class 4A baseball final.

Farmington and Park of Cottage Grove will play for the title at Target Field. The scheduled start time is 7 p.m. although it could be later depending on the progress of the Class 1A, 2A and 3A championship games that will precede the large-school final.

There will be no walk-up ticket sales for Friday’s championship games. Tickets must be purchased through the Minnesota State High School League’s website, www.mshsl.org.

Farmington (20-6) qualified for state for the first time since 1977. The baseball team is going for the school’s second championship in an MSHSL-sponsored sport. The first was a Class 4A softball title in 2017. Farmington’s girls basketball team reached the Class 4A final in 2020, but that game was called off because of the pandemic and Farmington and Hopkins received trophies declaring them “finalists.”

The Tigers are the first South Suburban Conference team to reach a state championship baseball game since Lakeville North lost to Chanhassen in the 2015 Class 3A final (baseball expanded to four classes the next year). Since the SSC began operations in the 2010-11 school year, two teams – Burnsville in 2011 and Eastview in 2012 – won state baseball titles.

This is Park of Cottage Grove’s fourth trip to the state tournament but the first since 1993. The Wolfpack (22-7) have won seven games in a row since losing to Eagan 15-0 in the second round of the Section 3 playoffs. Park defeated Eagan twice in the section finals.

Farmington remained undefeated in the postseason with a 3-2 victory over Minnetonka in the Class 4A semifinals Wednesday at Chaska Athletic Park. All the runs were scored in the first inning. Minnetonka jumped to a 2-0 lead, then Farmington responded in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles by Alex Berreth and Kyle Hrncir, followed by a three-run homer by center fielder Carter Hendrickson.

Tigers pitcher Zach Dohrmann struggled in the first inning, allowing two runs and two hits while walking two batters and hitting one. After that, he was all but untouchable, retiring 18 of the final 19 batters he faced. Dohrmann had five strikeouts.

Right fielder Connor Weed had two of the Tigers’ six hits against Minnetonka.

Park, the No. 2 seed in the state tournament, defeated third-seeded Andover 5-4 in the semifinals Wednesday.

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