MHAL baseball tournament preview

Chris Ranalli of Highland squares to bunt during an at bat against Wallkill during their Boys Varsity baseball game on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. (CHET GORDON photo/Times Herald-Record)

The MHAL baseball tournament will be played Saturday at Pine Plains. Here’s a brief preview of the games. The championship game is set for 1 p.m. and will feature the semifinal winners.

MHAL semifinals at Pine Plains, Sat. May 18, 10 a.m.

Roosevelt (Div. I, 12-5) vs. Highland (Div. II, 10-6)

Season history: These teams met just once during the regular season, with Roosevelt winning 13-0 on April 29. Tyler Fefes had a three-run triple and Cody Perotti added a three-run double in Roosevelt’s win in Hyde Park.

What to expect: Highland has had a strong season and the Huskies got off to a great start thanks to a strong pitching staff. Highland figures to be one of the contenders in the Class B bracket this postseason, but Roosevelt just might have a little too much offense for the Huskies to handle.

Our records are a bit spotty if you go back further than 10 years, but neither one of these teams have played in an MHAL final in quite some time – if ever. Whichever team advances to the final will be making a bit of program history.

Spackenkill (Div. III, 15-2) vs. Rhinebeck (Div. IV, 12-5)

Season history: These teams played on May 10, with Spackenkill beating Rhinebeck, 2-0.

What to expect: Spackenkill, the defending Section 9 Class B champion, has been no stranger to the MHAL championship game, having won in the semis but lost in the finals in both 2012 and 2011. In fact, Spackenkill beat Rhinebeck in this round last year, 9-1.

My prediction: I think it’ll be Roosevelt and Spackenkill in the finals. Spackenkill beat FDR on May 7, by a score of 4-3. I would guess that should Spackenkill and FDR meet again, it’d be yet another very close game.

I’ll be posting the Section 9 brackets as soon as possible when they’re released next week. I’ll also be covering a bunch of Section 9 playoff games in the weeks to come, so for live updates, check out my Twitter page: @THR_Montgomery.

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