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The top-seeded Miesville Mudhens start a best-of-three series against the Dundas Dukes Friday night for the chance to advance to the Class B State Tournament. Here Joey Werner bats for the Mudhens in their final regular season matchup against Dundas. Alec Hamilton / Hastings Star Gazette

The Miesville Mudhens begin the Section 1B playoffs on Friday against the Dundas Dukes at Jack Ruhr Field. The Mudhens are the No. 1 seed in Section 1B while Dundas secured the No. 6 spot after eliminating Northfield in the play-in game. The two teams will play a best-of-three series with games on Friday, Sunday (at Dundas) and Tuesday (in Miesville if needed). 

The winners of the three Section 1B playoff series advance to the Class B state tournament. In addition to Miesville versus Dundas, the No. 2 Elko Express takes on the No. 5 New Market Muskies while the No. 3 Rochester Royals take on the No. 4 Hampton Cardinals. The Mudhens earned the top seed after finishing atop the Section 1B standings with a 9-3 record, two games ahead of Elko and three in front of Rochester and Hampton. Miesville also won the Classic Cannon Valley League.

Miesville has won 11 of its last 14 since the start of July, including a five-game winning streak at the beginning of July. This past week, they played a series of non-league games against the Champlin Park LoGators, St. Louis Park Baseball Club and the Blaine Fusion. The Mudhens beat the LoGators at Jack Ruhr Field on Wednesday, July 28, and then were victorious over St. Louis Park 5-3 on Friday, July 30. They dropped the regular season finale against the Fusion 7-6 this past Sunday, August 1. 

Looking ahead to the series against Dundas, Miesville swept the two games against the Dukes this summer. The Mudhens took the first meeting in Dundas 9-0 and then won a 2-1 thriller on July 25. In the 2-1 win, Matt Van Der Bosch hit a walk-off, solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to give Miesville the win. 

After the final Dundas game, Van Der Bosch said that the key for the Mudhens in the final weeks of the regular season was to continue to get healthy while incorporating the players coming back. Miesville was bitten by the injury bug for a good part of the season, especially position players, and as a result they had several pitchers step up to play the field and hit. 

The Class B State Tournament is in Chaska, Waconia and Hamburg this year, running from the middle of August until the start of September. 

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