Champlin Park falls in state opener

The Champlin Park baseball team fell 4-1 to Woodbury in the Class 4A state quarterfinal game June 15.

Champlin Park senior Cole Albers (7) slides into second base during the Rebels’ Class 4A state tournament opener against Woodbury June 15. (Photo by Brian Flanary)

Max Loven, who threw strong eight-inning outings against Centennial and Mounds View in the Section 5AAAA playoffs, again got the start for the Rebels. Loven pitched six innings and allowed two runs, four hits and struck out six batters.

Much like the Rebels’ final two section games, offense was in short supply. Loven and Woodbury’s Max Meyer, who was selected by the Minnesota Twins with the 1,006th overall pick  in the 34th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, were engaged in a pitching duel, with neither hurler showing any signs of slowing down.

Meyer allowed just four hits and one run as he tossed a complete game gem for Woodbury.

Woodbury then broke through in the sixth inning, as Woodbury capitalized on two hits, a pair of walks and a Champlin Park error to take a 2-0 lead on a suicide squeeze bunt play and a wild throw on a potential inning-ending double play.

Champlin Park threatened in the bottom of the sixth, as back-to-back singles by Zach Loven and Quinn Viktora put men on first and second with no outs for the Rebels. Ian Koltes hit an RBI groundout to short to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

Brady Higgins relieved Loven in the seventh and allowed two hits and a walk to the first three baserunners, with the second hit coming off a well-placed bunt that allowed Woodbury’s third run of the game to score. An RBI double to the next batter gave Woodbury a 4-1 lead in the top of the seventh.

Follow Sun Post sports editor Chris Chesky on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris, or on Facebook at SunSportsStaff.