• Who: Hartland at Howell, 4 p.m. baseball doubleheader.
• Broadcast: On The Livingston Post starting at about 3:45 p.m.
• Last year: Howell swept Hartland en route to winning the KLAA West; Hartland went on to reach the MHSAA Division 1 semifinal.
• Records: Hartland is 2-1 (1-0 KLAA West); Howell is 2-3, o-1.
It’s a matchup between teams that have been among the best in Division 1 in recent years, but neither team is willing to make an excessive deal out of today’s games. “They’re a very good team, and it’s going to be great competition,” Hartland coach Brian Morrison said. “It’s going to be Games 5 and 6, and we’ve got a long way to go.” Howell co-coach Jason Ladd was also keeping it low: “Just one game at a time. They’re a good team, and we happened to win a gainst them last year. Every year is different. It depends on who gets the breaks.”
Howell handed Hartland ace John Baker his only loss of the season in last year’s doubleheader and went on to win 15 league games in a row after a loss to Lakeland in the opener. The Highlanders aim to do the same this year after losing 4-3 to Lakeland two weeks ago.
Last time out
Hartland beat Waterford Mott 10-0 on Monday, Morrison’s 400th career win. Howell was swept by Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., 10-0 and 8-7, the latter game in the bottom of the seventh.
What the kids say
“Every time you play a rival, it’s close most of the time,” Howell’s Caleb Balgaard said. “We’re going to be coming out and doing our best to win. It’s going to be a tough game.” “Last year, they were a lot better challenge than I thought they would be, and this year they’re more of a challenge,” Hartland’s Max Hendricks said. “We have to come out and compete.”