The road to a state title goes through the reigning champion for Haslett.
The Vikings will square off against last year’s winner, Grand Rapids Christian, in the Division 2 state quarterfinal at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at Davenport University.
While the level of talent in the other dugout increases, the game plan does not change for Haslett.
“We have to just do what we do,” said Haslett coach Jeff Woodworth. “We’ve stressed the same things all year – pitchers throwing strikes, making solid contact and having good at-bats.”
The Vikings have gotten this far due to a dominating showing in the regional tournament. In its two wins, Haslett outscored its opponents 17-1.
The regional title game was an 8-1 Vikings victory over Grand Rapids South Christian that was fueled by a five-run fourth inning.
Grand Rapids Christian won its third straight regional title after Austin Batka threw a one-hitter against Allendale. Batka and Alex VandeVusse represent a formidable top two starters for the Eagles.
Haslett also relies on its pitching, but the Vikings go six pitchers deep. Peter Romsek and Bryce Dickman were the winning pitchers over the weekend, but the starter for Tuesday’s game is undetermined.
If whoever does begin the game struggles, the Vikings won’t hesitate to give some one else the ball.
“If they’re not throwing strikes and getting the ball over the plate, we’re going to take them out,” Woodworth said. “When we’re as deep as we are, we have that luxury.”
On Monday, the Vikings worked out in the early afternoon to prepare for the game. They will get together for some batting practice on Tuesday before making the trip to Davenport University for the quarterfinal.
While Haslett does not have the postseason experience that the Eagles do, at this time of the year all of the remaining teams have enough talent to win a title.
“Anybody is good at this point,” Woodworth said. “You’re down to eight teams and they’ve all won four games.”