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Published 8:51 pm Monday, April 9, 2012

Patriots face Glenwood in key region matchup

This is the game Pike Liberal Arts baseball players circle every season.

Glenwood versus Pike Liberal Arts has become the Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frazier of the prep baseball world.

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The schools have squared off in each of the last two Alabama Independent School Association State Championship Series with Glenwood coming away victorious in each.

“It’s always fun to play them,” Patriots pitcher and infielder Josh Starling said. “It’s especially big with the region situation we’re in right now.”

The Patriots (20-5, 10-2) and Glenwood have the same amount of region losses, making this game as big as it gets in teh regular season.

“It is going to be a real important game,” Pike pitcher and infielder Lawson Stewart said. “They always have a good team so we’re going to have to play our best.”

Pike played a near perfect game against the Gators when the squads met to kick off the season at Riddle-Pace Field on February 13. Stewart and Starling no-hit Glenwood as the Patriots rolled to a 6-0 victory.

Pike is expecting a much more energized and competitive game this time around.

“We’re going to get a good atmosphere and a good game,” said Starling. “I feel like they’ll be ready to go just like us.”

The Patriots will send senior Blake Floyd to the mound to counter Glenwood’s Kyle Rovig.

Rovig, a South Alabama signee, struck out eight batter in just three innings of work in the first meeting.

In what could very well be a preview of the AISA State Championship Series for the third consecutive season, Pike is anxious to prove the last meeting wasn’t a fluke.

“Having the experience against Glenwood helps every time we have to face them again,” said Starling. “It would be huge to beat them with the playoff right around the corner.”

Game time at Butch Austin Field is set for 3:30p.m. today.