For the third straight season, the Hinckley-Finlayson Jaguars are celebrating a sub-section championship after their 3-0 win over Braham Thursday night. The Jaguars need just two more wins to qualify for the state tournament. They play next against the west champion, Pine River-Backus. That game is on Monday at 5:00 in Pierz.
After losing to the Jaguars, Braham will have to win their way back up from the play-back bracket. They play East Central today at 2:00 in Hinckley. Braham defeated East Central 4-2 in their matchup earlier in the playoffs.
The Mora Mustangs were rolling through the playoffs winning their first game against Crosby-Ironton 16-1 and then against Aitkin 16-0. They then ran into a brick wall when facing against Duluth Marshall's number one pitcher, Ben Pederson. Pederson, a Division 1 commit to the University of Missouri, held the Mustangs scoreless in the Hilltoppers 1-0 victory recording 12 strikeouts.
The Mustangs came within inches of tying the game in the top of the 7th after a triple by Matthew Peters put the tying run just 90 feet away. Logan Sjoberg hit a deep fly to right field that allowed Peters to tag up. But the throw beat Peters to the plate, ending the game for the Mustangs.
Later that night, Mora took on International Falls in an elimination game. The Mustangs handled the Broncos easily picking up the win 10-1.
Mora will now take on Aitkin at 2:00 on Tuesday in Superior.
North Branch started off the playoffs defeating #5 Hermantown 9-5 at home. They then fell to the #1 seed Chisago Lakes 16-5. North Branch will now play #7 Hibbing on Saturday at 12:30 at Chisago Lakes High School.