Service vs. South game tonight has postseason feel

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 21, 2012

With the Cook Inlet Conference championship already in the bag, the Service High baseball team can take it easy tonight in the regular-season finale at Mulcahy Stadium.

But that’s not happening.

The undefeated Cougars have a shot at making history with a perfect conference record and will play to win against CIC runner-up South High. First pitch is at 6:30.

"We will come out strong," Service manager Steve Nerland predicted, "but get some of our reserves some time, too."

For the 9-0 Cougars, another win would make them just the second CIC team in the league’s 21-year history to run the table in conference.

The first undefeated conference champion was Chugiak in 2008.

Nerland could care less about making history.

"Not on our mind," he said.

Service has already clinched the conference’s No. 1 seed to next week’s ASAA State Tournament.

The Cougars beat South 9-3 just nine days ago.

South [7-2] secured the CIC’s second berth by virtue of finishing second in the league.

South manager Russ Baker said he will also play most of his starters today, in part, because the game has a postseason feel.

"Playing an undefeated, well-coached team will help in South’s preparation for the state tournament," he said.

The Wolverines have been here before.

Last year, they clinched the CIC’s No. 2 and went on to win the state championship. Now they are headed back to defend their title.

"It is what the players have worked on all winter," Baker said. "The seniors and returning players have a sense of approaching the end of their high school playing careers."

This is the last day of high school baseball regular season.

In other action tonight, Dimond faces Chugiak, Eagle River plays West and Bartlett takes on East.