LAKEVIEW — A couple of familiar foes will face off in the first round of the Division 3 district baseball tournament Tuesday.
The host Lakeview Wildcats will face the Central Montcalm Green Hornets in the opener, with the winner moving on to Saturday’s semi-final against White Cloud.
These two teams already played twice in the regular season. The Wildcats won both games 6-4 and 7-0 May 7 at Central Montcalm.
“In the first game, we had a few miscues we could improve on,” Lakeview coach Ryan Vellanti said. “The second game, Damien Beckett threw 10 strikeouts so as long as our defense improves we’ll be all right.”
Those are games that Green Hornets coach Rocky Studley wants to forget come Tuesday.
“We’re starting over,” he said. “It’s a new season for us. One game at a time now.”
Vellanti liked the way his team played in that doubleheader, but he is also wanting to forget it.
“In baseball it doesn’t matter what you did the first time you saw a team because on any given night if a pitcher is doing well they can win,” he said.
“You have to just go out and execute your game plan, whatever that may be. For us, throwing strikes, making the routine play and putting the ball in play.”
There were some good things Central did in those games, Studley noted.
“We put the ball in play, we pitched all right against them (Lakeview),” Studley said. “The biggest thing is we have to eliminate the errors. That’s been our Achille’s heel all season. If we lose the errors we can play ball.”
Vellanti had some things he wants to see his Wildcats do better when Tuesday comes around, as well.
“I think we did a good job putting the ball in play. We didn’t strike out a lot,” he said. “I knew in game one we had a lot of chances but we didn’t get the two-out hit. If we get those chances again we need to get that two-out hit.”
Studley is expecting a good game.
“We can definitely play with them (Lakeview)” he said. “They outplayed us in the doubleheader we had. But I think we’re pretty close. I think we’re two even teams. We’re both fairly young. We made more errors than they did.”
Vellanti is hoping he can get his pitchers to put the ball over the plate.
“No matter what kind of season it is throwing strikes is the key,” he said. “If we can do the little things and getting people in whether it’s getting the (sacrifice) fly or the hit.”
The game starts at 4:30 p.m. The winner will play the Indians in the first game of the June 1 tournament at 10 a.m., followed by Morley Stanwood vs. Evart at 12:30 p.m. The finals are set for approximately 2:30 p.m.