Listen live online Saturday via JoeInsider.com to the District 9 baseball semifinals and championship games from Mattawan. The action starts at 10 a.m. with Portage Northern facing St. Joseph. Game two around noon sees Portage Central against host Mattawan. The winners meet roughly around 2:30 p.m. for the district title.
Entering Saturday, Portage Northern has the best overall record of the group at 31-7-1, followed by Portage Central at 21-9, Mattawan at 22-12, and St. Joseph at 12-15-1. The Huskies are the defending district champion, getting wins over the other three participants on the way last season. PN also enters as the lone team ranked in the final Division 1 coaches poll, earning the #2 spot.
All four teams are SMAC West rivals and within divisional games, PC narrowly got the top spot at 7-3, followed by PN (6-3-1), Lakeshore (6-4), Mattawan (5-5), Niles (2-8), and St. Joseph (1-8-1).
The Huskies and Bears had their regular season series on May 21 at St. Joseph. Portage Northern won the first game 14-1, followed by a 2-2 draw in the second game. The Mustangs and Wildcats had their series on May 16. Portage Central won both games with an 8-7 final in game one after nine innings, then a 9-4 result in game two.
As for possible championship matchups, Portage Northern and Portage Central split their regular season games with a 9-5 PN win and 5-2 PC win. The Huskies swept their two games with Mattawan 6-2 and 6-5. The Wildcats grabbed a sweep at St. Joseph on 1-0 and 6-0 finals.
You can listen to all three games Saturday via the embedded player below. Portage Northern versus St. Joseph is set for 10 a.m., followed by Portage Central and Mattawan roughly around 12/12:30. The winners meet in the championship around 2:30/3:00.
Left photo by Corey Rhodes