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State baseball: Here's the lowdown on Saturday's first-round games in Class A
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State baseball: Here's the lowdown on Saturday's first-round games in Class A

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Archbishop Bergan vs. Lincoln Southeast, 4.20

Archbishop Bergan first baseman Brady Benson closes in on a grounder hit by Lincoln Southeast before throwing to the pitcher at first base during the first inning April 20 at Den Hartog Field.

The Class A baseball state tournament begins Saturday at Sherman Field and Den Hartog Field in Lincoln. Here’s the lowdown on each of the opening-round matchups:

No. 1 Millard South (30-4) vs. Columbus (18-13)

10 a.m., Den Hartog: The top-ranked Patriots enter the tournament on a 14-game winning streak powered by what may be the best pitching staff in the state. The likes of Caden Blair, Braden Cannon, Braden Sweet and Nate Moquin lead Millard South against a Columbus team that is making its first state appearance since 1953. The Discoverers have a well-rounded lineup that helped them claim the A-3 district championship.

No. 4 Papillion-La Vista South (20-8) vs. No. 5 Millard West (24-11)

2 p.m., Den Hartog: Millard West won the most recent Class A state title in 2019, and the Wildcats have plenty of Division I talent again. Pitchers Sam Novotny and Corbin Hawkins are Nebraska baseball recruits. Meanwhile, Papillion-La Vista South won the only matchup 5-1 earlier this season and is led by talented seniors Jackson Trout and Jackson Horn. This is the Titans’ first state appearance since 2016.

No. 3 Lincoln East (21-8) vs. Lincoln Southwest (19-10)

2 p.m., Sherman Field: The only two Lincoln teams in the state tournament will face each other for the third time this season. Both teams have senior-heavy starting lineups that include Max Petersen, Will Johnson and Ethan Morrow for Southwest, while Brayan Van Meter, Charlie Mosser and Austin Schneider are just as important for East. Both teams often rely on their offenses to win games, so a strong starting pitcher may prove important.

No. 2 Bellevue West (27-4) vs. No. 8 Archbishop Bergan (16-7)

10 a.m., Sherman Field: These schools haven't been state regulars (Bellevue West’s sixth appearance; Archbishop Bergan’s fourth), but they have the talent to go all the way. Two years ago, Brody Sintek nearly led the Knights to the state finals, and now it’s younger brother Carter Sintek’s turn. Bellevue West has several hitters with batting averages above .400, and it’ll also be tough to get past starting pitchers Jaxon Jelkin and Dane Toman.

Luke Mullin

 

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