Prep preview: Slew of new names and teams set for state baseball tourney

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The Minnesota State High School League's 2013 baseball tournament will feature only one returning champion and five schools that have never been in the tournament before.

Quarterfinal play starts Thursday at various locales around the state, with three championship games scheduled for Monday at Target Field.

This is the 14th year of of the "three-class" format, according to a press release from the MSHSL, and St. Agnes, a St. Paul school in Class A, is the only returning champ from last year's tourney.

Five teams qualified for the first time this year, says the MSHSL: Osakis and Floodwood in Class A; Watertown-Mayer and Minnehaha Academy of Minneapolis in Class AA; and Lakeville North in Class AAA.

Two of last year's champions, Holy Catholic Family in Victoria of Class AA, and Class AAA's Eastview of Apple Valley, didn't make the cut this year.

As for favorites this year, consensus is top-seeded Coon Rapids in Class AAA, with the Star Tribune calling the Cardinals a favorite going into the tournament, taking on Wayzata Thursday morning at Midway Stadium in St. Paul.

This is the first year the tournament will be seeded, according to the MSHSL, as rated by the coaches.

Class A quarterfinals, championship semifinals and the third-place game will be played at the Mini Met in Jordan, and consolation semifinals and consolation championship will be played at Chaska Athletic Park. (See the bracket here.)

The Class AA quarterfinals, championship semifinals and the third-place game will be played at Dick Putz Field, and consolation semifinals and consolation championship will be played at the adjacent Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.

The Class AAA quarterfinals, championship semifinals and the third-place game will be played at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, and consolation semifinals and consolation championship will be played at Dick Siebert Field on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

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