Two Harbors' 2018 baseball season ended with a pair of losses to Esko and Aitkin in the Section 7AA playoffs, but before that the team had surprised Proctor and International Falls in the first two games of the tournament.

Two Harbors was just 5-12 heading into the section tournament, but caught fire late in the season for the tournament wins. The Agates return several key players from that team, including pitchers Bret Olson and Steven Keech and catcher Carson Wenger.

Coach Jeff Adams said he expects Olson and Keech to drive in a lot of runs this season for Two Harbors, while Wenger and junior Cole Komarek will focus on making contact and getting on base.

In addition, the team has a wealth of young talent in freshmen Brjen Jones, Caleb Waldron and Alec Churness and even some eighth-graders that will compete with the upperclassmen for playing time and has the Two Harbors program looking strong well into the future.

"We, as a coaching staff, are incredibly optimistic with the young talent that is coming up in our program," Adams said. "We have a highly talented group of eighth- and ninth-graders that love baseball and are hungry to compete for at-bats and innings on the mound. Overall, this is an outstanding group of kids who love to compete and are eager to get better."

To win the section and a trip to state, the Agates will have to solve the Esko pitchers that befuddled them in a 9-0 loss the section playoffs last year and then dethrone defending Section 7AA champion Duluth Marshall, which has another strong pitching staff and a deep lineup of hitters.

Two Harbors is scheduled to open the season at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, in Hayward.