The Saline baseball team began its state championship defense by winning the Division 1 District title at home Saturday.
The Hornets defeated Ann Arbor Huron 4-3 in a hard-fought game for the championship.
Huron took advantage of a pair of Saline errors in the first inning the push a run across, but the Hornets answered with two in their half of the inning on an RBI single by Jackson O’Keefe and a Huron error.
A pair of runs by the River Rats in the fourth gave them a 3-2 lead, but a Jacob Ohren-Hoeft sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning tied it at three.
Paul Kiyabu put the Hornets up 4-3 in the fifth with a two-out RBI single.
Huron would not threaten the rest of the way as Logan Evans slammed the door allowing no hits in three innings of relief work.
Kiyabu, Cole Daniels, Vinnie Patteri, and Alex Morrison led the offense with two hits each, while O’Keefe, Noah Nelson, and Cam Daniels each had one.
Cole Daniels struck out eight and allowed just three hits in the 9-0 semifinal win over Ypsilanti Lincoln.
The Hornets scored single runs in the first and second for a 2-0 lead and O’Keefe ripped a two-out two-RBI double to make it 4-0 in the fifth. Saline put the game away with five runs in the seventh.
O’Keefe finished with a double and four RBI to lead the offense. Cole Daniels had a hit and RBI, while Reagen Miller and Patteri each had one hit.
Saline advances to the Southgate Regional Saturday.