After shutting out Bloomington Jefferson on back-to-back nights to win the Section 3 championship, Lakeville North received the No. 1 seed in the state Class 3A baseball tournament.
The Panthers (21-4) will play unseeded Brainerd (21-3) in a state quarterfinal game at 10 a.m. Thursday at Midway Stadium in St. Paul. North won the South Suburban Conference championship and entered the section playoffs ranked first in Class 3A.
Lakeville South (7-18), the surprise team of the state playoffs thus far, plays No. 2 seed Mahtomedi (23-1) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, also at Midway Stadium.
Lakeville North, which was Class 3A consolation champion in 2013, needed to win three consecutive games after losing to Bloomington Jefferson in the Section 3 winners’ bracket final. The Panthers won those three by a combined 25-2, including 10-0 and 6-0 victories over Jefferson in their final two games.
The Lakeville North-Brainerd winner plays Elk River (17-8) or Mounds View (18-6) in the semifinals at noon Friday at Midway Stadium.
Lakeville South was 2-17 in the regular season, finished last in the South Suburban Conference and was seeded 12th in the 12-team Section 1 playoffs. But the Cougars are 5-1 in the postseason, including an 8-5 victory over Rochester Mayo that clinched their first trip to the state tournament.
The Lakeville South-Mahtomedi winner will face Robbinsdale Armstrong (14-9) or Eden Prairie (18-6) in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Midway Stadium.
The Class 3A championship game will be 6 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at Target Field.