L-A State Baseball, What you Need to Know
KFIL Sports will once again be following the Lewiston-Altura Cardinals at the State Class A Baseball tournament!
The Cards (12-13) are the Section 1A Champs for the second straight year. They head into today's quarterfinal unseeded, and take on #2-seed Springfield (18-6). They play in the third quarterfinal of the day at Chaska Athletic Park, scheduled broadcast time 2:45pm on KFIL and kfilradio.com. Listen live here!
Springfield was ranked #12 in the last baseball poll, and I believe had a stint at #1 this year. The Tigers are making their third straight trip to state, and finished as runners-up last year and consolation champs in 2014. Lewiston-Altura was a top-ten ranked team for most of the first half of the season, but struggled to a 7-13 regular season record. L-A went 0-2 in their first-ever state trip last season. The Cardinals turned things up in a big way in the playoffs, going unbeaten in five games, and scoring 7 runs per game on their way to the section title. Springfield brings in a 7-game winning streak into today, averaging just under seven runs per game.
The Cardinals are full of veterans. 11 seniors, with seven regular starters. Springfield has just three seniors on the roster, with two starters. The Tigers hit .302 as a team, and are extremely aggressive on the base pads, with 119 steals. The Cardinals come in hitting .246 as a squad. The two teams are very similar with pitching stats as a team- Springfield has a team ERA of 2.41, while L-A's is 2.39. The Cards pitchers have struck out 139 to the Tigers 99.
Individually, the Tigers are led by Sam Baier (5-1, 0.42 ERA, 38k) and Branden Flock (6-1, 1.29 ERA, 49k) on the mound. Baier has a team-high average of .385, and Isaac Fink hits .339. The Cardinals pitching staff is led by John Clobes (7-2, 0.68 ERA, 70k) and Landon Kieffer (4-3, 1.62ERA, 46k). Clobes has a streak of 45 scoreless innings! Leading hitters are Cullin Neeck with a .323 average, all 4 home runs for L-A, and 29 RBI (13 in playoffs), and Kieffer hits .308.
Now you're primed for today's state coverage. Let's go Cardinals from KFIL Sports!!
Photo credit: Haila Rosero, Getty Images