The Prior Lake Mudcats are heading back to the Class C state tournament.

Ben Morrison hurled a complete-game gem Aug. 2 in leading the sixth-seeded Mudcats to a 7-0 home win over eighth-seeded Lonsdale in the Region 3C playoffs. The veteran right-hander struck out nine in a four-hit shutout.

Prior Lake will be the No. 4 seed out of Region 3C. Four teams make the playoffs. Prior Lake lost 17-4 at home to seventh-seeded St. Benedict Aug. 4.

The other three teams from the region to make state are St. Benedict, second-seeded St. Patrick and top-seeded New Market. For more on the Region 3C playoffs, go to drs.leagues.mnbaseball.org/page/Region3C.

The Class C state tournament starts Aug. 16 and will be held in Maple Lake, Dassel and Delano. Go to mnbaseball.org for state brackets when they are released.

Prior Lake won the Region C title in 2016 to earn the top seed from the region. The Mudcats are making their fourth state appearance since 2010.

In the win over Lonsdale, Prior Lake led 1-0 after the first inning and went up 4-0 after three complete. Cole Bjorge and Jake Lehrer each finished 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI.

Morrison also helped his cause with an RBI, while Jerad Lehrer drove in a run. Luke Weber finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored.

In the loss to St. Benedict, Prior Lake started fast with four runs in the bottom of the first inning. But the four-run lead was shortlived as the Mudcats allowed four runs in the top second, seven more in the third and three more runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

Isaac Saad took the loss, giving up eight runs in two innings of work. Corbin Cross allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings, while Zach Lovera allowed three runs in 3 1/3 innings of work.

Morrison drove in two of Prior Lake's four runs, while Parker Hafermann and Greg Faue each had an RBI. Cross finished 2 for 4 with a run scored.

For more on the Mudcats, go to priorlakebaseball.com.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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