Column: Area teams could dominate West Subsection

Published 9:30 pm Monday, May 18, 2009

As the Subsection 1A West Division baseball playoffs open Tuesday, there will be plenty of area teams vying for a trip to the Section Tournament.

After getting shutout in two five inning losses in last year’s subsection, the sixth-seeded Athletics (7-8 overall) will face an early test when they take on defending Section 1A champs Southland (12-7 overall) Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Riverland.

Lyle/Pacelli is tough when Cody Meyer is on the mound and the team is playing sound defense, but errors have gotten the best of the Athletics in most of their losses this season.

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Southland is starting to find it’s offense as it scored over 10 runs in its last two games of the season after breaking double digits just three times in the first 17 games. The Rebels also feature a strong pitching staff that should keep them in most contests.

At the top of the bracket is Blooming Prairie, which has scored over 10 runs nine times this season. The Awesome Blossoms (16-4 overall) have also played in nine contests that were decided by three runs or less. BP is 5-4 in those games and has learned a few lessons about playing with pressure.

The Blossoms will rely on the big bats of Austin Moe, Matt Zellmer, and Israel Clark and hope their pitching can hold their opponents off.

Hayfield, the second seeded team, knocked off BP 4-1 in the regular season and is looking dangerous.

The Vikings (11-9 overall) boast wins over Zumbrota/Mazeppa (15-3 overall), Kasson/Mantorville (16-4 overall), Byron (10-6 overall), Lourdes (11-7 overall), and Randolph (10-8 overall).

When Ben Pollock is on the mound the Vikings have a chance against just about anyone as they play solid defense and have timely hitting.