The Burnsville baseball team had both a tough start and finish to their season.
The Blaze opened this spring losing 10 of their first 11 games. The team got on track in time for the Section 3AAAA tourney, winning six of their last nine contests in the regular season.
But in the playoffs, seventh-seeded Burnsville couldn’t make any noise, losing two of their three games to finish the year with an 8-15 overall mark (5-13 in the South Suburban Conference).
The Blaze opened the playoffs with an 8-1 loss at second-seeded Eagan May 31. Burnsville followed with a 9-5 win over sixth-seeded Hastings June 2 in the losers bracket, before falling 16-0 to third-seeded Lakeville North June 4.
The last time the Blaze made the state field was in 2017. The program also qualified in 2016, the first year baseball went to four classes.
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.
The Blaze have a 5-6 playoff record since 2017. The 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the loss to Eagan, Burnsville fell behind 5-0 after four innings and couldn’t recover.
Cole Voss took the loss, working 3 1/3 innings and allowing five runs (three earned), while fanning two. Sean Emerson drove in the Blaze’s lone run in the fifth inning, scoring Benjamin Meuser who finished 1 for 3.
In beating Hastings, Burnsville led 5-0 after three innings and rolled from there. Ethan Voss worked five innings for the win, striking out seven and giving up one unearned run.
Meuser finished 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Kade Bowar also drove in a pair of runs, while Nicholas Meuser and Blake Wildness and Zach LaMotte each had one RBI.
Ethan Voss finished 2 for 4.
Against Lakeville North, Burnsville allowed eight runs in the first inning and were down 13-0 after three frames. The Blaze had just one hit, a single from Jackson Kieffer.