May brothers look to lead Rebels at Class ‘A’ state baseball tournament

Published 7:54 pm Monday, June 14, 2010

ADAMS — Chris May and Alan May are hoping their last time playing together produces the best results as they prepare for the Class ‘A’ state baseball tournament which starts this Thursday in Jordan, Minn.

The May brothers, who are Southland’s top two pitchers and two of its top four hitters, will have a big impact on how the Rebels (21-4 overall) do when they open play against Sebeka (19-5 overall) Thursday at the Mini-Met at 10 a.m.

“They’re tremendous kids and they’re good athletes all around. They’re very easy to coach and they’ll do anything you ask them,” Southland head coach Scott Retterath said. “(They get along) as much as you can when you have a brother on the team. They compliment each other well.”

Alan, a junior, has played with Chris, a senior, in football, basketball and baseball throughout their high school careers. This weekend will be the last time in prep sports.

“I’ve been playing with him forever. It’s always been me and him,” said Alan, who is hitting .397 with 3 homeruns, 4 doubles, 4 triples, 20 RBIs, 44 runs and 24 stolen bases from the leadoff spot. “We want to go out in a good way (at state) and get first. We don’t want to be like ‘cool, we’re here.’ We want to do good when we’re up there.”

Their playing careers go back to elementary school and Chris, who is hitting .365 with 3 homeruns, 8 doubles, 28 RBIs, 32 runs, and 14 stolen bases from the No. 3 spot, said that things weren’t always smooth when he was on the opposite team as his brother.

“We’d go at it a lot and sometimes get in fights,” he said. “Now, I’d say we’re both equal. We both throw a lot of strikes and let the defense do the work.”

Both Mays will likely start on the mound on Thursday at state, but it isn’t clear which games they’ll pitch in.

Southland can’t really go wrong with either choice as Alan is 6-1 with an ERA of 2.35 and 47 strikeouts while allowing 51 hits and 20 walks and Chris is 4-3 with an ERA of 1.84 while allowing 46 hits and 9 walks.

The two also have big a defensive impact, as Chris plays center field and Alan plays shortstop.

They have learned how to communicate very well on the field.

“We both understand each other now,” Alan said. “All we need is a look we know what’s going on. No one needs to say anything.”

Southland, which has five hitters hitting .300 or better and six hitters with an-base percentage of .500 or better, is coming into the state tournament in fine form. The Rebels have won 18 of their last 19 games after losing three of six to start the season.

Southland watched Sebeka play in the Section 6A title game to get a good look at its opponent.

“We learned quite a bit from watching them,” Retterath said. “They’ve got good speed, they can hit the ball and they’ve got good pitching. They’re not in the state baseball tournament because they’re bad and all the teams up there are pretty evenly matched, I think.”

If the Rebels win their first game at state, they would play the winner of Deer River (19-7 overall) and Fosston (18-5 overall) at 3 p.m. Thursday. If they won both games on Thursday, they’d play in the title game at Target Field in Minneapolis Saturday at noon.

“You see Target Field on TV and it’s so beautiful, and (if we go to the title game) we’d be able to say we’ve played there,” Alan said.

The champion of Section 1A has taken second at state the last two seasons. Wabasha/Kellogg lost the title game last year and Southland was second two years ago.

Chris hopes Southland bucks that trend this year.

“Section 1 has done a great job at state the last two years,” he said. “Hopefully this year we can break the streak of second place finishes and take first.”

Eden Valley/Watkins has the best record in the tourney at 24-0 overall and Adrian is 23-2 overall. But Retterath is optimistic about his squad.

“If we keep playing the way we’ve been playing the last couple of weeks, I like our chances,” he said. “We’re playing good defense and we’ve been getting timely hits. That’s the name of the game right now.”