BISMARCK, N.D. - Bismarck and Duluth battled for the 1st-half title. The Larks edged the Huskies by one game.
The 1st-half winner earned the right to host a playoff game and that game is tonight against the Huskies.
The schedule did Duluth a favor because it did not have to travel. They closed the regular season against each other Sunday at this ballpark.
Larks Head Coach Sean Repay said: "It's just the way it played out. I like our odds at home again these guys. We're 3-1 at home and in front of the home crowd with our ace on the mound and I know what type of energy our guys are going to feed off the crowd and they're locked in. Our guys are ready. I'm not concerned about this moment at all. I'm very confident just like i was going into the first half when we won the championship that night too. I Just get the same vibe from my guys."
Larks outfielder Wyatt Ulrich said: "You want to say it's just like any other game, stay focused and have fun but of course everyone has their tensions going. This is the first playoff game so just try to act like it's the same game."
Larks infielder Ripken Reyes said: "We've been good. Full of confidence waiting for this time. We just knew we had to get through these last couple of weeks to get to this playoff and we're excited for it."
The Larks have Hendry Rodriguez starting on the mound tonight. it's no accident their best pitcher is going in their first playoff game.
"Nobody we'd rather have on the mound. We know what we're going to get out of Hendry. We're going to get a lot of strikes. We're going to get a lot of competitiveness and we're looking forward to him on the mound for sure," said Reyes.
"He's locked in and he's ready to go," said Repay. "He's big game pitcher and when we need him he's going to step up just like in the first half and that was his worst out of the year his last time out but he was do and I'm glad he got it out of the way then but I know we're going to get better tonight but he's been consistent all the way through and usually when you get a pitcher that'll have a rough outing and that was his last time out usually you get a lot of those sprinkled throughout the season and that was his first so it just shows what kind of a pitcher he's been this season. He was voted an all-star for a reason and he was voted a post season all-star as of yesterday for a reason so there's no secret that he's one of the best in the league."
If Bismarck wins, then it's a road game Tuesday in either Willmar or Mankato. The winner of that game heads to the Summer Collegiate World Series.