The 51st Diamond Classic high school baseball tournament begins Monday at Cooley Law School Stadium with Haslett facing Eaton Rapids in the opener at 5:30 and Okemos meeting Williamston in the nightcap. The ten team field was announced Tuesday and surprise-- Holt and Grand Ledge are the top two seeds and favored to meet in the final on June 5th.
I pick Holt but either the Rams or Grand Ledge may have pitching issues-- which ever one survives the district tournament since they play in the same district. The loser will have all its pitchers available for the semi-finals if either Grand Ledge or Holt has won its early games in the Classic.
The headline player in the Classic is Holt pitcher Justin Alleman, headed to Michigan State but a possible pick in next month's amateur draft. But Holt wants to win the state title and may have to save Alleman for the Regionals the following week end. Grand Ledge, as usual, is defending champ but I make Holt a slight favorite. I think East Lansing is my top darkhorse-- the Trojans just split a doubleheader at Grand Ledge on Monday. And Lansing Catholic, a one time winner in the Classic, could surprise. Bath has a terrific pitcher in Nick Stiles and a 27-3 record, but Bath has to prove it can play with the big school teams. Play ball!