St. Albert baseball earned a spot in the Class 1A state championship on Wednesday after defeating Auburnett 10-0 at Merchant Park in Carroll.
The Falcons now turn their attention to Lansing Kee, which is no stranger to baseball success.
The Hawks have 24 state playoff appearances, the eighth-most of any school in the state. This year’s apperance was the first trip for Kee in 10 seasons, when the Hawks lost in the title game.
Kee earned its spot in the state title game by defeating the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Remsen St. Mary’s, 5-3 in nine innings. Kee entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed.
Both teams enter the championship with similar records. Kee is 35-9, and St. Albert is 34-8.
Both teams also have nearly even stats this season.
The Falcons have the edge in runs scored per game, 10.3 to 8.2, but the Hawks have held opponents to just 3.1 runs per game compared to 4.5 for St. Albert.
Twenty-four percent of Kee’s hits are for extra bases compared to 20% for St. Albert.
St. Albert does hold the highest on-base percentage with a .471 compared to just .433 for Kee.
The Hawks have committed significantly fewer errors, 47, than the Falcons, 78.
Offensively, Kee is lead by junior Tyson Cota. He has 58 hits and 51 RBIs on the season. He currently holds a .417 batting average and has 18 extra-base hits and 20 stolen bases.
The Hawks have two primary pitchers, junior Dalton Dibert and Cota. Dibert pitched seven innings of relief in the semifinal, so responsibilities may fall to Cota.
Cota has pitched 59 2/3 innings and has an ERA of 1.06 with 70 strikeouts.
The championship game will start at noon today at Merchant Park in Carroll.