Hartland coach Brian Morrison was asked how his team would handle Portage Northern ace left-hander Tommy Henry heading into the Division 1 state championship this month.
"We have an ace of our own in John Baker," he said. "It's going to be a very good pitching matchup."
He was right.
Baker went 10 innings, allowing one run on five hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks.
Henry went eight, allowing one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts and six walks.
The difference? Baker's team scored two runs to win the title.
But because of their performances all season — Baker, a junior, went 10-2 with an 0.94 ERA and 131 strikeouts; Henry (Michigan) was 8-2 with a 0.40 ERA and 120 strikeouts — both players were named to the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Dream Team.
"John came into the season a little under the radar since he was injured last year," Morrison said of the 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-hander. "We watched him during the winter and he threw well. Then, he was very consistent every time he took the mound this spring, really attacked the strike zone. His fastball is pretty electric, touches 90 and he has a nasty cut slider."
Also earning Dream Team spots:
■ Birmingham Brother Rice outfielder Nick Plummer, who was named Mr. Baseball. He was drafted in the first round by the Cardinals, signed his contract last weekend and has started his career in Florida.
■ Orchard Lake St. Mary's junior pitcher Drake Titus, who helped his team win the Division 2 state title. He finished 12-2 with a 0.73 ERA and three saves. Titus also hit .350.
■ Grosse Pointe North senior outfielder Daniel Robinson (Central Michigan), who hit .555 (76-for-137) with six homers, 55 RBIs and 25 stolen bases.
■ Hamilton senior pitcher Grant Wolfram, who was selected in the 17th round by the Tigers. The 6-6 left-hander, who may opt to go to Central Michigan, went 9-3 with a 0.50 ERA, with 98 strikeouts.
Coaches Dream Team
John Baker, Hartland, P, Jr.
Drew Blakley, Gull Lake, C, Jr.
Jarod Burton, Gull Lake, 1B, Sr.
Matt Clark, Adrian, IF, Sr.
Carson Eby, Bay City Western, C, Sr.
Nate Grys, Madison Heights Bishop Foley, OF, Sr.
Tommy Henry, Portage Northern, P, Jr.
Jacob Herbers, Battle Creek Lakeview, OF, Sr.
Chad Huntley, Mattawan, IF, Sr.
Nick Jones, Battle Creek Lakeview, IF, Jr.
Karl Kaufman, Birmingham Brother Rice, P, Sr.
Riley McCauley, Sterling Heights Stevenson, IF, Sr.
Greg McDade, Sterling Heights Stevenson, OF, Sr.
Austin Palo, Howell, 1B, Sr.
Nick Plummer, Birmingham Brother Rice, OF, Sr.
Daniel Robinson, Grosse Pointe North, OF, Sr.
Max Schuemann, Portage Northern, IF, Sr.
Luke Shilling, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, P, Sr.
Connor Smith, Midland Dow, IF, Sr.
Trent Theisen, Saline, C, Sr.
Drake Titus, Orchard Lake St. Mary's, P, Jr.
Bryce Windham, Monroe St. Mary CC, IF, Sr.
Grant Wolfram, Hamilton , U, Sr.