The Prior Lake baseball team finished the regular season with 10 wins.
The Lakers will need at least four more victories in the Section 2AAAA playoffs to earn the program’s first-ever state berth. That won’t be easy, especially in a tough eight-team field that is led by No. 7-ranked Bloomington Jefferson.
The Jaguars (13-1) will be the No. 1 seed when brackets are released at mshsl.org/section-events. The next six teams look pretty even — Chanhassen (11-7), Shakopee (11-9), Minnetonka (11-8), Chaska (10-9), the Lakers (10-10) and Edina (8-10).
Eden Prairie (6-13) will be the No. 8 seed.
The first round of section play starts Memorial Day, May 31. The semifinals are June 2, followed by the winner’s bracket final June 4. The title game is June 8 with a second game, if needed, June 9. The higher seed is at home.
Prior Lake finished the South Suburban Conference season with an 8-10 record. Sixth-ranked Rosemount (13-4) won the crown.
The Lakers head into the playoffs dropping four of their last six games, including 6-1 at home to Eastview May 20. The Lightning scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull out the win.
Ryan Wattermann started for Prior Lake and went six strong innings, getting a no-decision. He allowed six hits and one earned run, while fanning four.
Tyus Smith took the loss for the Lakers, giving three earned runs in the seventh. Lance Behrens allowed two earned runs in the frame, but also got all three outs.
Dustan Green drove in Prior Lake’s lone run with a single in the fifth inning. The Lakers had just four hits, all singles.
Prior Lake went into the game off a pair of league wins — 3-0 versus Lakeville South May 19 and 4-2 at Burnsville May 17.
Connor Wietgrefe tossed a five-inning, two-hit shutout against Lakeville South. He struck out seven.
Harry Fleek doubled and drove in a run to lead Prior Lake’s offense. Beau Rabey and Hayden Fraasch also had RBIs.
Lance Goeschel finished 2 for 3 with a run scored for the Lakers, while Green was 1 for 2 with a run scored.
Against Burnsville, Henry Brandt went six innings to get the win, allowing two unearned runs while striking out seven. Smith got the save, fanning two in one inning of work.
Green drove in two of Prior Lake’s four runs, while Rabey also had an RBI. Fraasch was 2 for 3 with a run scored, while PJ Dahl and Goeschel each had a hit and a run scored.
The Lakers went into the Burnsville game off three straight SSC road losses — 6-0 to Rosemount May 10, 2-0 to No. 4 Eagan May 11 and 4-3 against Lakeville South May 13.
This year’s Class 4A state championship game is slated for June 18 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled for June 15-16 at Chaska Athletic Park.