Teams -- Hartland, Lake Orion, Rochester Adams, Stoney Creek
Breakdown -- Pitching should dominate this regional, especially in the first semifinal game between Lake Orion and Hartland, which will be a rematch of last year's regional final where Hartland edged out the Dragons to move on. Lake Orion has all of the pitching you look for from a team that has eyes for Battle Creek, with Nick Deeg, Brad Schaenzer and Josh Bays. But Hartland will counter with another very good pitching staff that features Michigan State commit Jake Lowery. On the other side, of the regional semifinals, it will be interesting to see if Rochester Adams can continue to play spoiler, or if the Cougars can pick up a fourth straight win over the Highlanders this season. Chances are the first semifinal will come down to which team can have the most success offensively, and then hope that they can match up in pitching with either Lake Orion or Hartland in the final.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Lake Orion 4, Hartland 2
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: Rochester Adams 3, Stoney Creek 2
Regional Final Prediction: Lake Orion 5, Rochester Adams 1
Teams -- Northville, North Farmington, Birmingham Brother Rice, Walled Lake Northern
Breakdown -- Barring a major upset, this regional belongs to Brother Rice, the Warriors are one of, if not the most complete team in the state in terms of pitching and hitting and the depth that comes with both of those categories. Walled Lake Northern could be able to hang in with Brother Rice in the early stages of their semifinal, but Brother Rice will be hard to slow down. It seemed as if North Farmington had eyes on planning for regionals even during the district playoffs as they chose to save senior ace Sterling Sharp, and go with some of the younger pitchers on the staff, and I think that will pay off in the semifinal on Satuday. If anybody can or will compete with Brother Rice in the regional final, it would be North Farmington because to the Senior-Frosh duo of Sharp and Alex Darden.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Brother Rice 8, WL Northern 4
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: North Farmington 5, Northville 4
Regional Final Prediction: Brother Rice 5, North Farmington 2
Bloomfield Hills Andover Regional
Teams -- Clawson, Orchard Lake St. Mary's, Richmond, St. Claire.
Breakdown -- Heading into the playoffs, there wasn't any question of whether or not St. Mary's could hit, as the Eaglets have proven to be one of the best teams around when it comes to offensive production. However, there were questions about whether the Eaglets had enough pitching to make a run in the postseason. But Connor Bowers has answered each and every one of those questions so far as he's emerged as a true ace over the course of the last month and should be able to help pitch the Eaglets into contention for the regional. Assuming that St. Mary's meets up with St. Claire in the regional final, it will be a tall task for the Eaglets to move past a top five team in the state, but the Eaglets lineup paired with the emergence of Bowers will be enough for St. Mary's to advance to the quarterfinals.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Orchard Lake St. Mary's 7, Clawson 3
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: St. Claire 2, Richmond 0
Regional Final Prediction: OLSM 4, St. Claire 1
Madison Heights Bishop Foley Regional
Teams -- Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Harper Woods, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Allen Park Cabrini
Breakdown -- There's not a whole lot to say about this regional. It's not a matter of if the Ventures are going to win, but how many runs they will win by in both games on Saturday. Bishop Foley has been dominant all year long and are now in a regional with three teams that have sub-.500 records on the year. Everything is lined up perfectly for the Ventures to get back to Battle Creek and be in serious contention for a third straight state title.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Bishop Foley 12, Harper Woods 2
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: Allen Park Cabrini 3, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 1
Regional Final Prediction: Bishop Foley 11, Allen Park Cabrini 1
Auburn Hills Oakland Christian Regional
Teams -- Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, New Lothrup, Portland St. Patrick, Potterville
Breakdown -- Throughout much of the season, Lakes has had some offensive inconsistencies, but one of the things that hasn't been inconsistent is the dominant pitching that the Lakers have to offer. For a Division 4 team to have as good and as deep of a pitching staff as Lakes has is something that can't be overlooked in the playoffs, and with Jake Glover, Steven Scott and Colt Moran holding down the rotation, the Lakers have a better than good chance to advance to the quarterfinals. One thing that also plays into Lakes' hands is the fact that there isn't a single overly dominant team in this regional, once again giving the Lakers the upper hand considering that pitching staff.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes 5, New Lothrup 1
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: Portland St. Patrick 7, Potterville 6
Regional Final Prediction: Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes 2, Portland St. Patrick 0
Grosse Point Woods University of Liggett Regional
Teams -- Grosse Pointe Woods University of Liggett, Royal Oak Shrine, Plymouth Christian, Allen Park Inter-City Baptist
Breakdown -- With all due respect to the Plymouth Christian and Inter-City Baptist, this regional will come down to the first semifinal game between Shrine and Liggett. Liggett has simply been too tall of a task for the Knights in recent years, but if there's any year where the Knights could unseat Liggett, it could be this year. Shrine has plenty of pitching behind the arms of Connor Francek and Mike Cobbledick and that could give the Knights just enough to get by the perenial D-4 power that is Liggett. This game will come down to whether or not Shrine can generate any type of offensive production against Oakland University commitment Connor Fannon, and I think they just might be able to do that. Since the beginning of the playoffs, I have been calling for a Shrine vs. WOLL quarterfinal and I'm not going against that now as Shrine will move on.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Shrine 4, Liggett 3
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: Inter-City Baptist 7, Plymouth Christian 4
Regional Final Prediction: Shrine 7, Inter-City Baptist 3