Connor Quimby

Senior Connor Quimby tries to get the tag down in Burnsville’s 7-6 conference win at Prior Lake May 18.

The Burnsville baseball team struggled to end the regular season, dropping four of its last five games.

The Blaze ended the regular season with a 6-14 overall record, 8-10 in the South Suburban Conference. The Section 3AAAA playoffs starts May 30 with the first round.

The title game is June 7, and the entire tourney will be played at Alimagnet Fields in Burnsville.

The Blaze is looking like the No. 7 seed in the eight-team field. Seventh-ranked Rosemount (13-6) is the only team ranked in the field. Park (13-6), last year’s Class 4A state runner-up, Hastings (17-3) and Lakeville North (12-7) will also be top-four seeds.

Eagan (12-8), Eastview (9-10) and Apple Valley (1-19) are also in the field.

Burnsville went 4-7 against section teams in the regular season. The Blaze split two games with Apple Valley, Eagan, Lakeville North and Eastview, while losing twice to Rosemount and once to Hastings.

Burnsville ended the regular season May 24 with a 12-0 league loss versus Lakeville North. The Blaze went into the contest off a 6-5 setback at Hastings May 20 and a 5-4 defeat versus Apple Valley May 19.

In the loss to Lakeville North, Burnsville got behind 9-0 after two innings and couldn’t recover. The Blaze was held to just three hits. Junior Eli Keirstead had two of them, going 2 for 2 with a double, while senior Jonah Dawson singled.

Junior Nicholas Meuser took the loss, allowing nine runs (five earned) in 1 2/3 innings. Sophomore Greydon Isebrand worked 2 1/3 innings giving up one unearned run, while senior Connor Quimby allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning.

In the loss to Hastings, it was a 4-4 game through three innings. The Raiders scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth.

Junior Vincent Birch pitched four innings for Burnsville and allowed five runs (four earned), while senior Jake Struzyk took the loss, giving up one run in two innings of work.

Dawson doubled twice and finished 2 for 4. Sophomore Jake Neutz went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Keirstead went 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Seniors Asher Geise and Alex Thompson both had doubles.

Against Apple Valley, the Blaze got down 4-0 after the first inning and couldn’t make it all the way back. Keirstead and Dawson each doubled and had an RBI, while Meuser finished 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.

Geise went 2 for 3, while sophomore John Santelman drove in a run.

Ninth-grader Collin Heckman took the loss, working five innings and allowing five runs (three earned) with nine strikeouts. Kierstead and Quimby each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

This year’s Class 4A state tournament will be June 16-18. The first two rounds are CHS Field in St. Paul with the title games for all four classes at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Burnsville was the Class 3A state champion in 2011 and the state runner-up in 2010, the first year the championship games for all classes were played at Target Field in Minneapolis.

All-Star Series

Meanwhile, Dawson will represent Burnsville in the 47th annual Minnesota All-Star Series at Chaska Athletic Park June 23-25.

He will play for the Metro South squad. The series is broken down into four 20-player teams with other squads from the Metro West, East and North. Each team plays each other once during the series.

For more information, go to www.mshsbca.org.

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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