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Prep report: Panthers make it four section baseball titles in a row

Christian Pretasky went the distance for South Ridge, allowing one earned run on three hits.

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Prep report
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South Ridge earned its fourth consecutive berth in the state Class A baseball tournament on Thursday, defeating Ely 3-2 in the Section 7A championship game at Mesabi East High School.

Ely scored first in a tight section final, but the Panthers took the lead with single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings and held on for the win.

Christian Pretasky pitched a complete game for the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out seven and walked five.

Pretasky had a good day offensively as well, going 2-for-3 with a walk. Kaden Lane had the same. Josiah DeLoach also went 2-for-3 and drove in a run, with Wyatt Olson and Carter Anderson claiming the other Panthers RBIs.

South Ridge awaits its assignment for the state tournament, which begins Tuesday in St. Cloud. The Panthers reached the semifinals in 2018 and lost quarterfinals in 2019 and 2021.



State meet underway

Competition at the state track and field meet began on Thursday at St. Michael-Albertville High School with field events and preliminaries in classes A and AAA.

Duluth East pole vaulter Leif Ziring finished in a tie for fifth in AAA as one of three who topped out at 12 feet, 9 inches.

Other Northland athletes who placed in Class A field events Thursday included Makoi Perich of Esko, who took sixth in the triple jump (43-2 3/4), Kaitlyn McConnell of Esko, seventh in the long jump (16 4 3/4), Jackson Thompson of Moose Lake/Willow River, tied for seventh in pole vault (12-6) and Kaden McNiff of Floodwood, who took eighth in the triple jump (42-6 1/2).

Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin's Taevon Wells posted the top qualifying time in the Class A 400, running in 49.68 seconds. Esko's boys and girls' 4x100-meter relays both qualified for finals with the second-best times in the field. Mason Perich was the No. 2 qualifier in the 100 meters, running a 10.96.

Joseph Mikrot of MLWR and Nate Bilben of Silver Bay qualified for the Class A 800 meters final in fourth and fifth places, respectively.


Individual tournament begins

Jared Delich of Rock Ridge fared best of local competitors in the state individual tennis bracket, which began on Thursday. Delich defeated Asher Monson of Schaeffer Academy 6-1, 6-1 in the first round before dropping a 6-1, 7-5 outcome to Tate Reichmann of Minnewaska Area/Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.

Gavin Benz of Rock Ridge lost 6-3, 6-2 to Max Sampson of Mora in a first-round match.

Duluth East's Dane Patten and Ryan Delaney were ousted 6-0, 6-2 in the first round by the second-seeded team of Sam Rathmanner and Brandon Pham of Mahtomedi.


Both Iron Range doubles teams in Class A lost tight three-setters, with Jake Bradach and Owen Buggert of Rock Ridge losing 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3) and 6-3 to Marty Anderson and Cooper Dean of St. Peter, and Hibbing's Cooper Hendrickson and Drew Anderson falling 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to Rhett Janisch and J.J. Cornelius of Thief River Falls.

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