When you take the 2nd ranked D6 school (per MHSAA computer rankings) and you match them up against the 9th ranked D5 program in the state, you a looking at a good game.
Add to that the fact that since 2000, Frankenmuth and Millington have met 16 times with the Cardinals holding a slight 10-6 advantage in the victory column including a thrilling comeback victory on the Eagles home turf in the 2013 playoffs with Frankenmuth holding a 20-22 advantage over the life of the rivalry, things get ratcheted up a notch more.
That is exactly what will happen Friday night as Frankenmuth invades Millington for the TVC East matchup of powerhouses.
Frankenmuth is led by a strong defense which has held their opponents to an average of a little over 8 points per game. They are giving up a little over 100 yards per game on the ground but shutting opponents passing game down with only 79 yards per game and 7 interceptions.
The ground game has been the go to weapon on offense averaging 274 yards per game and racking up 14 TD’s. The passing game, while not piling up the yardage, has been effective putting the ball in the endzone 6 times on the season.
Senior QB Caleb Wascher is what drives the Millington offense. Wascher is averaging 96 yards on the ground and adding another 151 yards through the air. Shawn Pardee has been his favorite receiver so far hooking up with his fellow senior for 4 touchdowns in the last 3 games. As a team, the Cardinals have averaged 225 total yards on the ground per game showing that when the situation requires it, they can pound out the yards to eat up the clock.
The defense, which is usually a given for Millington, has given up nearly 18 points per game this year and while that will beat the majority of the teams in the TVC East, they are going to have to step up their run containment against the Eagles Friday night and play nearly error free football if they expect to walk away with a victory.
One final thing to keep in mind are penalties. For the season, Frankenmuth has taken an average of 50 yards worth of penalties per game to Millington’s approximately 100 yards per game (NOTE: Millington penalties are a 2 game average). With the adrenaline on both sides of the ball this will definitely be a number to keep an eye on.
In the end, Friday night’s game looks to be a hard fought contest as always. The MHSAA computer rankings suggest that the Cardinals have the better team but in the end it will come down to how disciplined Millington is in regards to penalties. I just don’t see them being able to give up 100-120 additional yards to Frankenmuth and coming away with a victory.
Still, given how effectively Millington handled the Frankenmuth offense last year, I’m going to go out on a bit of a limb here. Millington 34 Frankenmuth 28.
UPDATE: Hartland lost Sunday's game to Bedford in three innings. Photos from that contest are at the end of the gallery above.
The Hartland 12U All-Starts opened tournament season this afternoon in Ypsilanti dropping their first two games to Woodhaven 9-5 and to the Canton Kings 8-0.
In the opener Hartland held Woodhaven in check through the first two innings before allowing a 4 spot in the top of the third powered by a triple by O'Rielly (12), a single by Symons (34) and a couple of walks.
Hartland mustered a run in the bottom half of the inning to make it a 4-1 game when Shaw led off with a walk and then came around to score. In the fourth however, Hartland opened up with 3 runs to tie the game a 4-4. The rally started with a walk by Baldwin, a double by Dalrumple and then a singe by Knight all three of whom would score.
In the top fifth inning Woodhaven tacked on a 5th run with a walk and a couple of steals to make it a 5-4 game in favor of Woodhaven before finishing their scoring for the night with 4 runs in the top of the sixth inning giving them a commanding 9-4 leading heading into Hartland's final at bat.
Hartland was able to tack on a final run in the bottom of the sixth on an in the park homerun by Dalrumple making the final score 9-5 in favor of Woodhaven.
Hartland batting leaders were Dalrumple 2-3 with a double and a homerun, Knight 1-3 with a single, Jensen 1-2 with a single and Frederick 1-2 with a single.
In the second game of the afternoon the Hartland All-Stars faced stiff competition from Canton and fell 8-0.
The All-Starts kept thins close again through the first two innings heading into the 3rd with the score knotted 0-0. Canton pushed a run across in the top of the 3rd started off with an error giving them a 1-0 lead and singly talley's in both the fourth and the fifth making it 3-0 but leaving Hartland withing striking distance.
The All-Stars were unable to generate any offense however in the game and Canton plated 4 more runs in the top of the sixth inning to take the game 8-0
After taking their opening game today against the Livingston Hurricanes 5-3, the Hawks Gold 18U team had difficulty getting runs on the board early on and fell to the 5 Tools Baseball squad 8-6.
The 5 Tools squad struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Craven led off their half of the inning with a single. The next batter Wilk walked and then both runners scored on a single by Olsen who was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double with 5 Tools leading 2-0.
That score stood until the top of the third inning when the Hawks Gold's Mitchell led off the inning with a home run to the left field gap. Piesko and Ackerman both walked and were on base when Rendellhit a shot to right field driving Piesko in. The inning ended however with Ackerman being thrown out at the plate and the Hawks pulling into a 2-2 tie.
5 Tools broke the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth inning when they strung together a series of singles and a double by Heid and the Hawks were down 8-2.
The Hawks made of game of hit though in the top of the seventh pushing 4 runs across the plate to bring them within 2 before being closed out 5 Tools and falling 8-6. Palo took the loss for the Hawks.
The last time I watched Hartland play baseball, it was a 13 inning affair that they won in walk-off fashion. Today's game only went 10 innings but there was every bit as much drama.
Starting pitcher for the Eagles John Baker(25) threw a complete game giving up only 5 hits and 1 run over his 10 innings. In addition, it was his double in the first inning that drove in the first run of the game.
Both pitchers were amazing as the game finished regulation tied 1-1 however in the bottom of the 10th inning, Hartland had men on 1st and 3rd with nobody out when Senior Brett Oliver delivered the game winning hit to give the Eagle a 2-1 victory and their first ever Division 1 MHSAA Baseball title.
Great job Eagles and best of luck next season!
The Fowlerville Gladiators came back from a 4-1 deficit to tie the game 4-4 in the bottom of the 5th inning before eventually closing things out with a walk-off single by B. Fox in the bottom of the 7th inning.
A homerun to straight away center field by S. Matlock got the scoring started for the Gladiators in the 3rd inning but they fell behind 4-1 in the top half of the next inning as Perry plated 3 additional runs. After holding Perry in the top of the 7th inning a leadoff walk quickly turned into a bunt strikeout and a caught stealing leaving Fowlerville down to their last out. H. Mills then singled and stole second before Fox's single ended the game.
Winning pitcher for Fowlerville was D. Turner.