Baseball: Eagles run the table finish regular season 18-0
The New York Mills Eagles ended the regular season as they began it -- on a tear.
The Eagles defeated Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale (4-13) by a robust score of 20-0 in NY Mills. They capped the season with a 7-2 win at Parkers Prairie (6-11).
Both wins over the Panthers and Raiders assured a perfect Park Region Conference season with a 12-0 record. The Eagles finished with a five-game conference lead over second place Sebeka (7-5).
The Park Region crown is the second consecutive title for NY Mills. They won the conference by a two-game spread last season with a record of 10-2.
With a 21-3 conference record and 36-6 mark over the past two seasons, a second straight trip to the state tournament seems likely.
Pitching has been the key to the Eagles' success all season. NY Mills starters senior Adam Snelgrove and sophomores Tyler Patron and Brandon Kupfer have all been close to perfect on the season.
The Eagles pitching is such that, as a staff, they have allowed an amazing average of only 1.5 runs per game.
NY Mills, the obvious No. 1 seed, will start their playoff run against the winner of the Section 6A play-in game between No. 8 Nevis (6-14) and No. 9 Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (3-10).
The play-in game will be in New York Mills Tuesday, May 29 at 3 p.m.
The winner will have the unenviable task of heading right back to the field to face the No. 3 team in Class A for a scheduled start at 4:30 p.m.
The second round will feature the winner of No. 4 Sebeka, a team that is more dangerous than their 9-10 record indicates, or No. 5 Lake Park-Audubon (7-8).
The Raiders feature one of the best pitchers in the area in sophomore Mason Swegarden.
The Eagles may catch a break if the Raiders need to pitch Swegarden to get past Sebeka.
NY Mills defeated Sebeka 7-2 and 1-0 on May 11. The Eagles beat Lake Park-Audubon, without Swegarden on the mound, 7-1, May 18.
Sebeka has a probable home field advantage, as the second round of games will be played on the Trojans' home diamond in what could be a testy elimination game to advance to the Section final four, where double elimination play begins.
If seeding plays out, a sub-section final would pit No. 2-seeded Frazee against the Eagles. Frazee is ranked statewide at No. 10 in Class A.
The Hornets May 21 loss at home to NY Mills by a score of 4-1 was the lowest margin of victory for the Eagles all season, aside from the Sebeka nail biter.
It was also the second lowest run total scored by NY Mills during the 18-game win streak.