STATE FINALS: What You Need to Know About the Saline-Northville Game

 06/17/2017 - 00:43
Ryan Foley makes a catch in leftfield during the MHSAA Division 1 semifinal game.

Making the trek to East Lansing to watch the Hornets play for the state baseball championship Saturday morning?

Here are a few things you need to know.

Saline vs Northville

Saline (38-3) plays Northville (30-10) for the Division 1 state championship. The game starts at 9 a.m. Plan to get there by 8:40 a.m., at the latest, because you’ve got a 10-minute walk from the parking lot to the stadium and you probably want to see the introductions.

Both of these teams crushed their semifinal opponent to get here.

Starting Pitchers

Saline coach Scott Theisen was playing it close to the vest Thursday. The obvious choice is between junior Danny Weidmayer and senior Sean O’Keefe. Both pitchers were effective in their most recent starts after considerable time away from the mound. Tough call for the coach. But using Weidmayer means you’ve got a formidable catcher with a strong arm (O’Keefe) behind the plate. And that also means that Kellan Huang is at second, where he makes a great double play combination with Finkbeiner.

If O’Keefe does start, then Huang will likely catch and Paul Kiyabu would play second.

Either way, Saline should have a deep bullpen if necessary. Either O’Keefe or Weidmayer will be available. Kiyabu and Huang have closed out games in the post-season. Tyler Zmich and Justin Flanagan can also pitch.

It appears Cole Daniels, who won Thursday’s game and pitched four innings, will not be available for relief work. Daniels threw 69 pitches and new MHSAA rules require two days of rest before he can pitch again.

As for Northville, Ben Schmidt is the likely starter. He started in the regional and district tournaments. Schmidt started and won the regional championship game against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. Then he pitched the first inning Tuesday in the quarterfinals before being relieved.

The 6’4 righthanded junior shutout Saline earlier this season.

First Time Finalists

This is the Northville Mustang’s first trip to the big game. Saline has been here five times. The Hornets lost last year, three straight years from 08-10, and 1998. Of course, many members of this year’s team played for last year’s finalists from Saline.

Theisen Piling Up the Wins

Saline coach Scott Theisen began his 25th season Hornet skipper in 18th place on the all-time Michigan high school baseball coaches wins list. With 38 wins, Theisen now has 697 victories.

Grand Era of Saline Baseball

This group of Saline seniors has set a new standard. Over the last three years, the Hornets have won 104 games. From 2008-10, the era when Saline went to three straight championship games, Saline won 99 games. Saline won 98 games from 2014-16 and 2015-17.

Can’t Make It? Watch It Live

The MHSAA won’t let reporters and fans Facebook live or Periscope the games, in whole or even for parts.

But you can pay to watch a live feed. Visit http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/tournament/michigan-spring-championships. You’ll have to pay a $10 subscription fee.

Bring Cash

It’s a high school game, but these are college prices.

Tickets for the game are $8. Parking is $5 (see attached PDF Below).

A bottle of water is $4-5.

Likely Lineups

Saline

LF Foley
CF Schwartzenberger
SS Finkbeiner
C O’Keefe
DH Daniels
2B Huang
RF Collick
1B Eppinga
3B Millspaugh

Northville

SS Morrissey
RF Prystash
C Flohr
1B Shahrigian
3B Moody
DH Troyer
CF Lionas
2B Garbacik
LF Williams

 

 

Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is owner of The Saline Post. Email him at tran@thesalinepost.com or call him at 734-272-6294

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