The Prior Lake Jays will need to step up their play to earn a second straight state berth.
The Section 3B playoffs start the week of Aug. 2 and the top-four teams make the Class B field. The Jays are 2-8 against the other seven section squads (7-9 overall).
Last summer, Prior Lake ended its 11-year state drought by making the state field for the first time since 2009 when the Jays were state runner-up to Shakopee.
The Jays lost 10-2 to Moorhead in the first round at state last year and were eliminated.
Prior Lake ends the regular season July 27 with a River Valley East League game at Chaska. The Jays had their two-game win streak snapped July 16 with a 6-5 loss at Victoria and then followed with an 11-9 setback at Burnsville July 18.
Both the Vics and Bobcats are section squads.
Prior Lake earned a 6-5 home win over Eagan July 13 for its second victory over a section foe.
In that game, Sam Tanner led the way. He finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs, while Cooper Smith also drove in a run. Jeff Butler finished 2 for 4 with a run scored, while Mitchell Goodwin finished 1 for 3 with two runs scored.
Goodwin got the win in relief, striking out two in two-thirds of an inning. Hunter Sheehan started and worked six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) while fanning four.
Camden Wiesz worked 3 1/3 innings of relief, giving up two runs with four strikeouts. He gave way to Goodwin in the ninth inning.
In the loss to Victoria, the Jays let a 4-2 lead get away, before scoring a run in the seventh to tie game. But the Vics pulled the game out with an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth with two outs.
Goodwin took the loss, working 1 2/3 innings. Takuma Padilla started and lasted three innings, allowing five runs (four earned). Ben Koopman pitched four scoreless innings of relief for Prior Lake.
Austin Gordon finished 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI for the Jays, while Goodwin also doubled and drove in a run. Tanner finished 2 for 3 with a solo homer and two runs scored.
Against Burnsville, Prior Lake got behind 9-2 after two innings and couldn’t recover. Goodwin finished 2 for 4 for with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Jays’ offense.
Tanner was 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs, while Beau Rabey was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Sam Emmerich also drove in a run, while Sheehan went 2 for 4 and Gordon walked four times and score three runs.
Weisz took the loss on the mound, going 1 2/3 innings and giving up nine runs (five earned) with three strikeouts. Ben Eisenberg pitched 6 1/3 innings of relief, allowing two runs (one earned).
For more on the Jays, go to priorlakebaseball.com.