The high school baseball season, ready or not, is at the halfway point this week.
The regular season ends a month from today, not counting the occasional doubleheaders during the districts and regionals, which is both a short time and plenty of time to get ready for the state tournament.
Hartland and Brighton are hoping to take a couple of steps closer to developing today, as they meet in a doubleheader at Hartland High School.
The game will be broadcast on The Livingston Post starting at 3:45 p.m.
“It’s a big doubleheader,” Brighton coach Charlie Christner said. “We’re taking this one at a time, like the old cliche. We’re just trying to give ourselves a chance as we move through the regular season.”
The teams go into the game locked in a tight battle for first in the KLAA West.
Howell (11-5 overall, 6-1 West) is playing host to Grand Blanc in a doubleheader. Brighton (5-3-1, 5-1-1) and Hartland (10-3, 6-2) are close behind.
After starting the season 1-3, the Eagles have reeled off nine wins in a row.
“We’re pretty consistent with pitching and defense,” Hartland coach Brian Morrison said. “And it seems like the hitting is coming around. We’re swinging at the right pitches now and putting the ball in play.”
Christner’s team, which has played only nine games this season due in part to cancellations at the beginning of the month, was swept by a good Northville team on Saturday, then rebounded on Monday to beat Walled Lake Northern 7-1.
“(Former Tigers manager) Jim Leyland says this, and I agree: You’re as good as your starting pitching and momentum is as good as the starter pitching the next game,” Christner said. “We got back on track because our pitching was really good, the defense was really good and we put some hits together.”
The Eagles baseball and softball teams, both of which are home against the Bulldogs, will also be playing host to the HAYAA youth programs in each sport.
There also will be a concession stand to raise money for the family of Hartland High School employee Karen Wagner, whose husband is seriously ill.
“We’ll have concessions that were donated, and the food service ladies are working the concessions for free,” Morrison said. “Everything that is bought tomorrow will go to her and her family.”