Burnsville earned its place by winning 2-1 at Victoria on Aug. 3 in the second round of the River Valley League East (Section 3B) playoffs. The victory assured Burnsville of a top-four finish in the eight-team section, which will send four of its teams to the state tournament that begins Aug. 20 in Waconia, Chaska and Hamburg.
The Section 3B playoffs continue this week, although the four teams that remain already have clinched their state berths and are playing for seeding in the tournament. Chaska will be the section’s fourth seed. On Tuesday, Burnsville defeated Victoria again 8-3, guaranteeing the Bobcats one of the section’s top two seeds at state. Burnsville faces three-time defending state Class B champion Chanhassen for the top seed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Chanhassen High School. If Chanhassen wins, the double-elimination section playoffs are over. If Burnsville wins, the teams will play again Friday at Chanhassen with the top seed on the line.
Burnsville (17-9) defeated Eagan 5-4 in the opening round of the Section 3A playoffs Aug. 1.
The Bobcats tied the Aug. 3 game at Victoria on consecutive doubles by Tyler Hill and Zach Andreasen in the sixth inning. In the seventh, Noah Juliar reached second on an error and scored on Brandon Dorshak’s single.
Kevin Johnson pitched a complete game, holding Victoria to one earned run and eight hits. He had six strikeouts.
On Sunday the Bobcats got seven strong innings from starting pitcher Luke Hansen but lost to Chanhassen 2-1 in the winners’ bracket final.
Burnsville scored seven runs in the first inning of its playoff rematch with Victoria on Tuesday. Tim Urlaub and Hill each had three hits and drove in two runs. Andreasen had two hits and Brandon Hugo scored two runs. Johnson pitched the first six innings and Cade Marsolek finished with three scoreless innings.
Hill, an infielder and outfielder, and infielder Matt Trocke are the only two Bobcats that were on the roster in 2014 for Burnsville’s last state appearance. 16 of the 17 players on this year’s Bobcats roster live in Burnsville or Savage, or were in Burnsville’s program as youth players.