Who: Pella Christian (3-11) vs Cardinal (7-3)
What: Class 2A - District 11 - Quarterfinal
Where: Pella Christian
When: Saturday, July 11 at 7 p.m.
First matchup in QuikStats era (since 2007).
One key player for Pella Christian
Devin Haveman has had an up and down year on both sides of the ball. As a pitcher, he leads the team with seven starts, owning a 2-3 record with a 4.85 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. As a batter, he leads the team with two home runs to go along with five RBIs and a .220 batting average. Sometimes he has been hit hard on the mound, other times he has battled and navigated through the opposing lineup very well. His low batting average doesn’t say how productive he is at the plate. Haveman owns a solid .360 on-base percentage and doesn’t strike out often. The Eagles will need a good night from Haveman on the mound against a good offense club in Cardinal, but also will need some good at-bats out of him in the middle of the order.
Keys for Pella Christian
PC draws the home game but Cardinal is proved to be tough in only 10 games played. They can put up runs against anyone but they also boast a quality pitching staff that features three guys with sub-three ERAs with at least 10 innings pitched. Pella Christian will enjoy home field advantage but they will need to be sharp defensively and take advantage of runners in scoring position whether it is Jack Vermeer, who leads the team with 10 RBIs, from the nine spot or guys like Haveman, Matthew Bokhoven and Blake Veenstra in the middle of the order. Pella Christian is 2-4 in games decided by three runs or less while Cardinal hasn’t been involved in too many close games, going just 1-1 in those situations. The Eagles have been in plenty of close battles, which should help them if this one stays tight.