Lakeville North in Sixth Straight State Baseball Tournament
The Lakeville North Panthers have dominated Section One in recent years and are experiencing their sixth straight trip to the State Tournament. The Panthers have earned some hardware all but one year they've participated. Last year they were Third in Class 4A. In 2013 they placed 5th, 2014 3rd, 2015 2nd, 2016 4th. Lakeville North ended the regular season sluggish with just two wins in their last six games.
The Panthers (16-7) didn't blink in the Section Tournament winning it with the minimum number of games. Lakeville North defeated Lakeville South 7-1, New Prague 1-0, Big Nine Conference Champion Owatonna 8-3 and Farmington 9-0 to capture the Section and advance to state.
The Panthers received the #5 seed and will play #4 St. Michael-Albertville (21-4) with first pitch scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at CHS Field in St. Paul. KDHL will be broadcasting on the Mighty 920 and www.kdhlradio.com. Download the FREE KDHL app and listen on your favorite mobile device.
The Knights have a team batting average of .381 and a team Earned Run Average of 3.18. Lakeville North has a team batting average of .361 and team ERA of 2.78.
The Panthers have Metro Player of the Year Nick Juaire hitting .500 going into the state tournament. Juaire has six home runs and 28 RBI while collecting 38 hits in the team's 23 games. He is heading to Texas Christian University on a baseball scholarship. Juaire is the school's all-time hits leader with 121.
Nathaniel Peterson was named to the StribSports All-Metro First Team and is Lakeville North's best pitcher statistically anyway. He is 5-0 with a 0.98 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 43 innings pitched. Senior Collin Denk isn't too far behind with a 5-1 mark, 1.50 ERA and 60 strikouts in 42 innings pitched. Denk is also hitting .453 with 24 hits in 23 games.
The Knights also have some pitching depth with four pitchers with no losses on their roster. Sophomore Cody Kelly leads the team in hitting with a .519 batting average. Kelly has 40 hits in 25 games and two of the team's 4 home runs. Senior Paxton Thompson is hitting .443 with 31 hits and 27 RBI.
Lakeville North is seeking their first title under the name Lakeville North. in 2005 right before the split to two high schools Lakeville won the state championship at Parade Stadium in St. Paul.
St. Michael-Albertville has a Class AA Championship in 2000 and Class AAA title in 2009.