The 42nd annual Cereal City Diamond Classic will offer a bonus prize — the ability to claim to be the top prep baseball or softball team in Battle Creek.
An all-city field highlights the two tournaments running at the Bailey Park Sports Complex on Saturday. Up until last year, both the Diamond Classic and the Cereal City Softball Classic featured teams from outside the area.
Lakeview will look to defend its’ Diamond Classic title in baseball, while Harper Creek is the two-time defending champion in softball.
Play begins at 10 a.m. with St. Philip taking on B.C. Central in baseball at Nichols Field and Lakeview facing Pennfield in baseball at Morrison Field; and the same schools matched up in softball at the Flannery complex.
The championship for softball will be played at 1 p.m. at Flannery, while the baseball title game is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Nichols Field.
League titles on the line Saturday for tennis/track teams
Medals and pride will be at stake on Saturday, as several area leagues will hold their conference tournaments in girls’ tennis and boys’ and girls’ track and field — many for the last time with the current makeup of teams.
In girls’ tennis, the Big 16 Tournament will be split up between a gold and silver divisions. In the Gold Division will feature Lakeview, Gull Lake and Harper Creek, with singles being played at Portage Northern and doubles at Portage Central. The Silver Division will feature B.C. Central, Marshall and Coldwater, with singles being played at Portage West Middle School and doubles at Kalamazoo Central. Play begins at each site at 9 a.m.
The Kalamazoo Valley Association girls’ tennis tournament will be played at Kalamazoo College’s Stowe Stadium, beginning at 9 a.m. Locals in the eight-team event will be Pennfield, Delton Kellogg and Galesburg-Augusta.
In track, the Big 16 Meet will be held at St. Joseph, featuring locals B.C. Central, Harper Creek, Lakeview, Coldwater, Gull Lake and Marshall. The KVA will hold its league meet on Tuesday at Schoolcraft, featuring locals Pennfield, Delton Kellogg, Maple Valley and Olivet.
Girls’ soccer teams will begin their league tournaments next week, with the SMAC East and KVA yet to announce matchups.
Harper Creek, Pennfield, Coldwater and Marshall are leaving their conferences after this year to be among the founding members of the Interstate Eight Conference. Maple Valley and Olivet are also leaving the KVA for the Greater Lansing Athletic Conference.
Local teams ranked in spring sports polls
Some area high school teams have been recognized among the best in Michigan, according to the latest polls released by their respective coaching associations.
* In boys’ golf, Lakeview is ranked No. 5 in Division 1; Marshall is No. 2 in Division 2, according to the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association.
* In girls’ tennis, Lakeview is No. 7 in Division 2, according to the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association.
* In girls’ soccer, Gull Lake is No. 2 in Division 2, according to the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association.
* In baseball, Homer is No. 5 in Division 3; Climax-Scotts is No. 9 in Division 4, according to the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.
* In softball, Bronson is No. 2 in Division 3; Colon is honorable mention in Division 4, according to the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association.