When the calendar flips to the month of June and your high school basketball team is still in action, its a good thing. The U.P. has three baseball teams still alive and very much in the hunt for a state championship.
One of the three remaining teams is Negaunee. The Miners defeated Pickford and Gladstone in Districts last week to advance in the Division 3 Tournament.
Negaunee has a tough test awaiting them in the regional semifinals in Charlevoix. According to the MHSAA website, the Rayders are 26-2 this season.
The Miners have made several trips to the regional semifinals in recent years, but they have yet to win a game. Negaunee wants to win not one, but two games when they play in the regional semifinals on Saturday.
“I hear that they (Charlevoix) have one really good pitcher that throws pretty fast,” said Mark Hill, the manager of the Miners.
“They have another kid that has hit eight home runs this year, so that is pretty good at the high school level. Other than that, it looks like that we match up pretty good with them,” Hill went on to say.
“We have to rely on our pitching, that will be key,” said Dustin Goupille, a senior on the team. “We’ve been down there three times and haven’t came up with a win yet, but we are going to go down there and play our best game,” Goupille added.
“Our base running has got to get better,” said junior Eric Lori. “We just have to go out there and play our own game and hopefully goes our way.”
“We can come out with a win as long as we play hard and if we hit, run the bases well, and play defense,” said senior Tony Zampese.
Negaunee and Charlevoix will play at noon on Saturday at Traverse City Saint Francis High School. If the Miners defeat the Rayders, they will take on Whittemore-Prescott or Kalkaska at 2pm for the Regional Championship.