ALGONA - The fourth-ranked Bishop Garrigan baseball team will look to return the state tournament for the first time since finishing second in 1998 here tonight.
The Golden Bears (35-8 overall), who were the North Central Conference champions this season, have won five straight games, outscoring their three district opponents, 27-0. Tonight, Garrigan will face Storm Lake St. Mary's (19-8) at 7 p.m.
Garrigan already owns an 11-0 victory over the Panthers at the end of June.
The Golden Bears have won 21 of their last 23 contests and have outscored their opponents 201-60 in that 23 game stretch.
Bishop Garrigan is led by the sixth winningest coach in the state of Iowa, Gene Meister, who is 928-383 in his career.
Bishop Garrigan is paced at the plate by Austin Vaske. The senior leads the squad in average (.496), home runs (13), hits (69) and RBI (62).
Zach Keith (.477) and Alex Boisjolie (.404) are also batting above .400. John Burns is hitting .390.
Keith has seven home runs and has driven in 40 runs. He has stolen 25 bases.
Storm Lake St. Mary's is paced offensively by Luke Lenhart (.371). Lenhart leads the team with 33 hits and has driven in 15 runs.
Seniors Andy Drey (.344), Bobby Ivey (.338) and Joe Sandhoff (.330) are the top hitters for the Panthers. Drey (15), Ivey (18) and Sandhoff (20) are the RBI leaders.
Sandhoff (7-2), Ivey (7-2) and Kennedy Drey (5-1) are the top pitchers for the Panthers. Shandhoff has a 1.55 ERA and Ivey has struck out 85 batters.